The Dad Life

Let’s be honest dad jokes are awesome, but if we are more honest our culture has seemed to make a joke out of dads

The Dad Life
Photo by Derek Thomson / Unsplash

When does a joke become a dad joke?

When it becomes apparent.

Let’s be honest dad jokes are awesome, but if we are more honest our culture has seemed to make a joke out of dads. Dads are not respected, revered, and raved about like they used to be. Dads are shown as clumsy and stupid in shows and movies while moms are holding it all together. Don’t get me wrong, we need to appreciate and love our moms (see “Ode to Moms” blog here), but we also need an appropriate appreciation for our dads on Father’s Day and year-round.

Why are dads so important other than supplying half our DNA, why are they vital to help raise each generation, why do we need dads?


Proverbs 3:12 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.”

All of us have a natural reaction to rebel. We are given rules, we rebel, we are given guidelines, we color outside, we are given direction, and we listen to ourselves. Human nature especially fallen human nature has a heart of rebellion going back to the Garden of Eden. Ironically, as we get older, become more responsible, possibly get married and have kids, we begin to see the value of a disciplined life. It’s not a life void of freedom, but a life that gives us the RIGHT freedom.

God doesn’t give us His Word full of commands, direction, and even discipline because He’s a cosmic buzzkill, He does it because He is the most loving Father we can ever imagine. God tells us not to sin because He knows that sin has consequences that outweigh the fleeting joy that sin promises to give us in the moment.

As an earthly dad, there is a lot of pressure from society today to not be too strict, too demanding, too rigid, too judgmental, the list can go on and on. But the model we are to imitate as a Father is that of our Heavenly Father who lovingly disciplines us when we are out of line.

Dads, do not be afraid to buck the cultural trend, to call out your kids when they are going down a sinful path, to instill biblical values in them rather than being swayed by the cultural flavor of the month. As a father, we cannot be afraid that by disciplining our kids we will lose their friendship because if we lose their respect and ultimately their spiritual faithfulness then their friendship will feel cheap. This may look like lovingly correcting your toddler that their emotions don’t rule their situation, or your pre-teen that they don’t talk disrespectfully to their parents without consequences, or to your teenager that they don’t know what’s best for their life and can’t make life-altering decisions.

Whatever stage of fatherhood you are at, there is a loving discipline that needs to take place and everyone including those who are not dads, we need to be able to see and lovingly respect that discipline from our dads.


Deuteronomy 1:29-31 “So I said to you: Don’t be terrified or afraid of them! The Lord your God who goes before you will fight for you, just as you saw him do for you in Egypt. And you saw in the wilderness how the Lord your God carried you as a father carries his son all along the way you traveled until you reached this place.”

Another strong cultural trend is that we don’t need dads to be the macho protectors in our lives. If you are a woman, you can be a strong, confident, self-sufficient woman…if you are a man, you can blaze your own trail apart from anyone else. Needing a dad who can protect you, rescue you, and deliver you from danger is seen as so "old-fashioned", so full of "patriarchy", but what if it’s so biblical?

Our Heavenly Father constantly rescued His people throughout Scripture: from slavery in Egypt to the giants named Goliath to flames in Babylon to jail in Rome, the list can go on and on and continue with modern-day rescues. God the Father constantly delivers us from bad situations, bad sins, and bad people.

As earthly dads, we need to be delivering our children from danger even when they do not see the need. How many young children are captivated by screen time and have no idea what it is doing to their brain? How many younger-than-we-want-to-admit kids are exposed to pornography and becoming addicted to horrible evils that need to be removed from their lives immediately? How many confused young people are struggling with sexual attraction and gender identity because they are being lied to by society about who they are? Who is going to step up and instead of letting our kids be drowned by present-day evils, are going to grab our kids and run to the safety of God’s truth?

I firmly believe that if dads, like myself and others, do not lead this charge we will continue to lose our children and future generations down this path. Just as modern-day heroes run into burning buildings to save the children, we as dads need to be the spiritual heroes ripping our kids from the jaws of sin and taking them to the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

Whatever stage of fatherhood you are at, there is a deliverance your kids need rescuing from that needs to be recognized and for everyone else just because your dad is delivering you from something doesn’t mean you are not strong enough, but that they love you too much to watch you endure that sin. 


Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence
and his children have a refuge.”

Ultimately, this is where all Jesus-following dads have to make their goal. We discipline our kids, we deliver our kids, so we can effectively disciple our kids. And here is the hardest part you cannot disciple your kids into something that you are not discipled into.

Think about this practically, you can’t teach someone how to do electrical work if you do not know how to do electrical work. Why so many kids reject the discipline and deliverance of fathers inside “Christian” homes is because they know dad doesn’t actually believe what he claims to believe. If we want our kids to follow Jesus, we have to first follow Jesus and then bring them alongside that journey with us, we can only pass on what we ourselves possess.

What is so amazing is when there is this deep fear of the Lord in our personal lives, God promises us that those blessings will pass onto our children. Will they automatically be saved? No, they have to make that decision for themselves. But, they will grow up knowing they have a refuge, knowing they have a safe place they can turn to when times are tough.

Dads, this whole dad thing is not easy. It’s not about learning how to tell jokes or deferring to mom, it’s about raising the next generation of men and women who love Jesus because they had a dad who loved Jesus and showed them the road to go down.