How to Experience Fatherhood Without Any Regrets

What are you running from as a dad?

I was in college and living in Nashville, The Buckle of the Bible Belt, when “I Can Only Imagine” first hit radio waves. It played “on repeat” across Christian and country stations. The song was powerful. But, I never knew the story behind the song. Now years later, watching this film as a dad, one major idea grabbed me. What if we could experience fatherhood without any regrets?

I don’t want to look back on my life as a father with regret. To live without regret, we must know the obstacles standing in our way, and remove them.

There’s an insightful scene in the movie when the music executive (Trace Adkins) talks to Bart and says, “What are you running from?” Bart confesses he’s been avoiding an obstacle all his life.

What are you running from as a dad? Maybe you don’t realize it yet. Sometimes you’re engaged and intentional and sometimes you’re not.

It’s vital you know the obstacles—so you can recognize what’s stopping you.

Six Obstacles Every Dad Faces

I challenge you to review these six obstacles and see if any one of them are blocking you from intentionally discipling your son or daughter.

  1. The Ignorance Obstacle sounds like this: “I didn’t know it was my job.”
  2. The Inertia Obstacle sounds like this: “I don’t know where to start.”
  3. The Delegation Obstacle sounds like this: “I’ll let someone else do it.”
  4. The Guilt Obstacle sounds like this: “Who am I to talk?”
  5. The Procrastination Obstacle sounds like this: “I’ve got plenty of time.”
  6. The Despair Obstacle sounds like this: “My kid’s already too far gone.”

In Bart’s dad, we see a man blocked by obstacles. From fighting with his wife to telling Bart he’s, “not good enough”. If any of these six obstacles hit home with you, you’ve encountered what we at Manhood Journey call a “roadblock”. But understand God doesn’t intend for you to live with these obstacles.

You can remove the obstacles, with God’s help. You don’t have to live in ignorance, timidity, fear, passivity, guilt, procrastination or despair.

When God calls, He changes a man. By recognizing the obstacles, we can then start overcoming them. In Christ, there is freedom from these obstacles.

Four Ways to Remove the Obstacles

  • Read the Bible. The surest way to know God’s will is to know His Word. The opposite is also true. If you’re disobedient and not in His Word, you won’t know God’s will.
  • Pray. Ask God to continually keep you in step with His spirit. Pray daily through the small stuff so you’ve cultivated a sensitivity to God in the big things.
  • Seek wise counsel. This means seeking out and listening to the people who are doing #1 and #2 on this list.
  • Live for God. Make decisions based on what’s best for the Gospel—not yourself or others. Once you’ve done steps 1, 2, and 3—over time—you can and will be living for God.

Want to know the surest way to live with regret? Not seeing the obstacles in front of you and no do these four things to remove them. Just as Bart watched God work and his dad went from being a monster to a man, we can do the same—through God.

Dad, if you’re in God’s Word, praying continually and seeking wise counsel, you’ll intentionally engage and disciple your kids. You’ll look back on your life without regrets.

Experience Fatherhood Without Regrets

God can transform us, like Bart’s dad, into the men we want to become—into men our sons want to be like and our daughters want to marry.

I can only imagine, when that day comes, when we raise the next generation of godly men, that’ll be biblical fatherhood, without regret and on repeat.

How do you recover once you’ve blown it?

Let’s face it. We’ve all blown it at one time or another. But what happens after that? Listen as Kent Evans, the Executive Director of Manhood Journey, reveals the most powerful tool in his fatherhood toolbox. You’re welcome. 😉
Kent Evans When You've Blown It

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Despite the chaos, tantrums, laughter, ongoing questions, messy hugs, toothless smiles, and all of the other ups and downs, it IS possible to experience fatherhood without any regrets. Keep God first and everything else will fall into place. Be sure to share your fatherhood advice or questions with us below.

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