Wings - How to Be a Great Dad


“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.” (Colossians 3:10, NLT)

Nothing looms larger for you than to help each of your children develop their sense of identity—a clear conviction about who they are and what their lives are all about.

Of course, you will do some of this naturally from the day they’re born. But the more intentional you are in fostering identity and independence now, the stronger their wings will be when they eventually leave the nest.

What are some of the ways in which you want to help your children to develop wings—to become mature, independent adults? To jump-start your thinking, consider your answers to the following questions:

  • What are the competencies you want your children to acquire?
  • What beliefs, attitudes, and values do you hope they adopt?
  • What character traits do you hope they will develop?
  • What key relationships would you like them to put in place?
  • Every child has natural aptitudes, abilities, and gifts. How can you encourage your children to develop theirs?

Once you have a clearer sense of the wings you want to give your children, share them around the dinner table. Do it in daily doses.

Another wing-strengthening activity is to have family devotions. Share your thoughts on a verse or topic, and then ask your children to share theirs. These conversations will help them build their sense of identity around who Christ says they are in him. The best routine for devotions is whatever works best for your family. When our kids were younger, we met three times a week before school for a fifteen-minute family devotion, and we took summers off. It was simple, and it worked.

As your children go through different ages and seasons, adjust your areas of focus as well as the degree of responsibility you give them. An important wing-strengthener when they are starting out in school, for example, is teaching them how to study and complete assignments. As they continue to grow, you can help them explore their abilities and interests in various areas like athletics or the arts. All of these things will give their self-confidence a boost.

As they progress through adolescence, encouraging them to become more independent means helping them answer deeper questions about the meaning and purpose of life, how to know God, when and how to date, why sex is meant for the marriage relationship, what educational directions they can take after high school, what to look for in a spouse, and vocational options.

Whatever you decide is important, be intentional about it.

Reflection and Application

  • In general, do you think you are giving your children wings?

    __ never

    __ rarely

    __ sometimes

    __ usually

    __ always

  • What is one action you can take to give your children a stronger sense of independence?

From the Book: