What Dads Add
Children with good dads are usually more at ease with other people, they have more confidence to do well at school, and they are happier.
And you have a crucial role to play in the spiritual nurture of your child. Research carried out by the Church of England in 2008 showed that an overwhelming number of dads – 88 per cent - felt that they were responsible for the spiritual care of their child. More dads than mums in fact. Dads clearly want to accept a responsibility not only for the physical and financial well-being of their child, but also for their spiritual well-being. If you are a Christian it makes a huge difference to your family.
As your child begins to explore spiritual things, your own commitment and encouragement will really help him or her.
- Do you think your child has a soul?
- If so, what is it for, and how can you as a father help it develop?
- Do you ever pray?
- Do you think there would be any worth in praying for your child, and with your child?
- Did you enjoy hearing Bible stories as a child? What did you learn from them? Consider if your child would enjoy them, and what you could teach using these stories.
A prayer for your child
God bless you always in every way,
God hold you and warm you with love,
God light up your life with kindness,
God lead you in the ways of peace.
A dad’s prayer from the What Dads Add leaflet
Wow, I’m a dad!
Thank you God for such an amazing privilege.
But now I really need you.
Please give me wisdom, love and strength
And patience -- by the bucketful
For the rest of our lives.
Make me the best Dad I can possibly be.
Baptism, Dedication and Thanksgiving
Baptism is something you may feel that your child’s mum has, or should, arrange. But your role is equally important to your child. At baptism you stand beside your child with others who love and care for him or her. Together you promise to bring them up as a follower of Jesus Christ.
In doing so you have shown your child, your family and your friends that you want to play a vital role in your child’s life. Baptism is a sign that you want your child to enjoy spiritual as well as material well-being.
Not all churches carry out infant baptisms. Instead you may be offered a ‘dedication’ service. In this service your baby will be dedicated to God by name, and you will make a commitment before God to bring your child up according to the Christian faith.
You may prefer to have a thanksgiving service which celebrates the birth of your child without the commitment that baptism involves. During the service parents and families give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and everyone prays for family life.