When I asked my husband to share with me his deepest fears, one of the things he mentioned was the fear of not being a good father. “I believe it’s something men in general tend to fear,” he said. “We get so caught up in doing what we do in our work that we’re afraid we haven’t done enough with our children. Or we’re afraid we haven’t done it well enough, or we’re missing something.”
Have you ever had someone pray for you when you couldn’t think straight, and after they prayed you had complete clarity and vision? I’ve experienced that countless times. I believe this is what can happen for our husbands when we pray about their parenting. If they are tortured with doubt and burdened by a sense of responsibility, we can minimize these feelings with our prayers. Prayer can help them gain a clear perspective of what it means to be a good father, and open the door for the Holy Spirit to show them how to handle the parenting challenges that arise.
The following is a suggested prayer to guide you in praying for your husband’s role as a father.
Lord, teach (husband’s name) to be a good father. Where it was not modeled to him according to your ways, heal those areas and help him to forgive his dad. Give him revelation of you and a hunger in his heart to know you as his heavenly Father. Draw him close to spend time in your presence so he can become more like you, and fully understand your Father’s heart of compassion and love toward him. Grow that same heart for his children.
Help him to balance mercy, judgment and instruction the way you do. Though you require obedience, You are quick to acknowledge a repentant heart. Make him that way, too. Show him when to discipline and how. Help him to see that he who loves his child disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24). May he never provoke his “children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord,” (Ephesians 6:4).
I pray that we will be united in the rules we set for our children and be in full agreement as to how they are raised. I pray that there will be no strife or argument over how to handle them and the issues that surround their lives.
Give him skills of communication with his children. I pray he will not be stern, hard, cruel, cold, abusive, non-communicative, passive, critical, weak, uninterested, neglectful, undependable or uninvolved. Help him instead to be kind, loving, soft-hearted, warm, interested, affirming, affectionate, involved, strong, consistent, dependable, verbally communicative, understanding and patient. May he require and inspire his children to honor him as their father so that their lives will be long and blessed.
Lord, I know that we pass a spiritual inheritance to our children. Let the heritage he passes on be rich in the fullness of your Holy Spirit. Enable him to model clearly a walk of submission to your laws. May he delight in his children and long to grow them up your way. Being a good father is something he wants very much. I pray that you will give him the desire of his heart.