Ansel Adams, the famous photographer of the Yosemite valley, was a restless child who had difficulty adapting to traditional schools. His father decided to teach him at home where he spent time helping him discover and cultivate his talents.
Ansel later said this about his father: “I am certain he established the positive direction of my life that otherwise, given my native hyperactivity, could have been confused and catastrophic. I trace who I am and the direction of my development to those years of growing up propelled especially by an internal spark tenderly kept alive by my father” (Source: www.pbs.org ).
Ansel Adams’ story is an illustration of the vital truth that fathers can have a significant influence on their children’s lives. When a father determines to make his children a top priority it conveys to them that they are deeply valued, needed and appreciated.
Children need time with their dads. This includes time to play, time to talk and to time to listen. When my son was about four or five years old and wanted to tell me something, I would often squat down and get at his level and look him in the eyes. Sometimes he would sit on my lap and put his arm around my neck as we talked. The feeling of closeness I had with my son during those times was priceless.
When a dad sets aside time in one-on-one opportunities with his children, it helps him become more familiar with their needs, fears, feelings and desires. When I was young my dad would often have me work with him on various projects around the house or at my grandparents’ house. We would talk to each other as we worked but even when we were not conversing, just being alone with my dad was special and rewarding to me.
When a father spends time with his child he can also become better acquainted with his or her individual talents and abilities. Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
American King James Version×says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This scripture doesn’t just mean disciplining children or giving them rules. It also means recognizing and directing a child’s talents so he can best develop and utilize them throughout life, including earning a living.
Children also benefit by a father’s masculine influence. By spending time with his dad, a son can discover more about being a man, and a daughter can learn how to understand and effectively relate to men. In a study of 200 fathers over four decades, psychologists John Snarey, Joseph Pleck and Anthony Maier found that a father’s positive impact on his children can be substantial (Dad’s Involvement With Kids Pays Off Now and in Future,” June 15, 1989, by Marjory Roberts, Health & Fitness News Service; articles.sun-sentinel.com ). The study found that a father’s focused attention consistently produced confident, secure, capable children. Daughters for example, excelled at school when their fathers helped them learn physical skills. Sons, whose dads played games with them and took an interest in their friends, greatly benefited from such “warm, altruistic fathers,” the researchers wrote.
Spiritual growth and maturity is also a vital fruit produced when a dad devotes time to his children. As he instructs them in spiritual, moral and ethical principles, they develop respect and honor, not only for God and His laws, but also for the laws of man. 2 Peter 3:18 2 Peter 3:18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
American King James Version×explains that Christians should “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.” A child can develop in this manner just as can adults.
So fathers can have an enormously constructive influence on their offspring. By spending time with their children, dads can better understand their needs, apprehensions and aspirations. When a father nurtures and cultivates his children’s talents and abilities, they can benefit physically, emotionally, intellectually, morally and spiritually. The incomparable fact is that children need time with their dads.
To learn more about the great importance of fathers and how they can adeptly help their children achieve true success in life, we invite you to read the following articles: