Quick Wins in Fathering

According to one website, a quick win is an improvement that is visible, has immediate benefit, and can be delivered quickly.  It doesn’t have to be profound.

Sometimes the hardest part in growing as a spiritual leader in your home, is starting.  Some of you reading this, never had an example of Christlike spiritual leadership in your home growing up.  Some of you did, and yet are not following in that example or have settled for an attitude of bare minimum effort and energy.

Men, if you’re a follower of and believer in Jesus, and you are married and/or have children (like me), we’ve been called to lead and care for our families in the way of Christ.  We’ve been called to reflect Him to both our wives and the next generation.  We are not called to perfection, but we are called to make progress and grow, both for our good, and ultimately for the good of those we lead and care for.

So the purpose of this blog post is to give you some possible quick wins in fathering, that are visible, have immediate benefit, and can be delivered quickly.  This is not an all-encompassing list and can easily translate to moms as well.  But I have a special burden to see men grow in this area of spiritual leadership.

You won’t find anything profound here, but you will find steps that you can begin to apply which have the opportunity to have a profound effect on your children (and your own heart and life).


  • If you’ve been weary or apathetic in your spiritual leadership lately, verbally confess that to your kids, no matter their age. Ask their forgiveness and ask them to pray for you as you grow in this area.  It is a good thing for kids to see their parents repent.  Pray in front of them and ask the Lord for help in this area.


  • Spend time each day, praying for your children alone. On the drive to work, early in the morning, before you walk in the house door, etc.
  • Pray out loud with your children every day. Put your hand on their shoulder or head and lift their name to the Lord.  Unsure of what to pray?  Read this for some passages you can pray for them (and you).  Or ask them what they are nervous or excited about, or what they are fearful of, and let their answers lead you in prayer.


  • Memorize Scripture together. Take the monthly Scripture memory as a church, put it in view of the household (i.e.: fridge), and challenge each other to memorize together.  Find some way to celebrate when a verse is memorized.


  • When you leave a Sunday gathering, engage in discussion about what they learned in SonChasers, or what they took away from the Sunday message. Be ready to share one thing that stood out to you from the message, and a point of application you’re going home with.


  • The things that are most valuable to us, we put into our schedules and calendars. We make time for what is important to us.  So schedule one on one time with your kids.  Go out with them, ask them lots of questions, tell them stories of when you were younger, do things together that they enjoy.  Not every fathering moment has to be an intentional teaching moment.  Simply be present and enjoy the kids the Lord has given you.


  • When you are physically present with one another, disconnect from distractions in order to engage in conversation. I’m not saying you can’t watch TV or a movie together.  I am saying, though, don’t squander precious time you have been given, through connecting more with your phone, than with those who are in the room with you.


  • Your kids need hugs and kisses from their dads. And don’t stop when they become teenagers or adults.  Yes, they may prefer you not hug and twirl them around in public, but don’t step away from affection as they age.  The Gospel reminds us that our Lord and Savior came near to us.  He was not cold and distant.


  • Write notes of encouragement to them and put them in their lunches, cars, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Speak words of life into your children, and how you’re praying for them, what you love about them, etc.  Using electronic means to encourage with words isn’t bad, but nothing beats a note written with their dad’s hand.