On this Father’s Day I am reminded of my own words in my recently published book – Papa’s Blessing. When fatherhood (or grandfatherhood for that matter) is considered we can choose what kind of influence we will have in our children (and grandchildren’s) lives. Being with the boys daily over the last several weeks has underscored the importance of being a strategic grandparent (parent) in their lives.
The strategic father is a father who is strategically engaged with their children. They realize the importance of being both a sage on the stage and a guide by the side. There are moments when lessons need to be taught. And there are times when guidance needs to be given. A sage on the stage makes pronouncements when needed based on their experiences in life. A guide by the side seizes a teachable moment brought on by a situation, circumstance or event. He provides guidance using the moment as a means to illustrate a value or principle that will help the child navigate their journey of life. The strategic father is observant of what is going on with their children. They are intentional about their parenting. They are proactively engaged. And they are situationally responsive and move from a director, to a coach, to a partner, and then to a mentor based on the readiness (willingness, confidence, and ability).
Playing a sport, teaching a course, completing a project—anything worth doing and doing well requires a strategy. A strategy is a plan, tactic, method, approach, scheme or stratagem designed to respond to a given situation, event, or a set of circumstances. The word is military in origin and refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. So, what does a strategic father look like; what characteristics does he possess; what qualities does he exude?
Five Qualities of Strategic Fatherhood (Grandfatherhood)
1. A strategic father is child-centered. (Train a child in the way s/he should go, and when s/he is old s/he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 NIV)
2. A strategic father is protective. (If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8 NIV)
3. A strategic father is engaged. (Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 NIV)
4. A strategic father is strategic. (Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV)
5. A strategic father is a model. (For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 NIV)