By Chris Orme
Good Word Contributor

I’m a dad to two great kids, and it is the best!

But, it’s not always easy, and at every stage I realize that this is the first time I’m doing this.  My son turned 17 over the summer and I asked him to be patient with me. I told him that this is the first time I’ve been a dad of a 17 year old.

I will most likely make mistakes… and I will definitely need encouragement and guidance as I try to be the best dad I can be.

I realize that I don’t parent in a vacuum.  I’m not alone. I am blessed with access to community, to brothers who encourage and come alongside, with mentors, and of course our tradition of faith.

There’s a well known verse from a collection of ancient wisdom called Proverbs. Proverbs 22:6 says this: Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost.

Point your kids in the right direction… it can sound like a daunting task, or it can be an amazing invitation.

I would invite you, as a dad, a step-dad, an uncle or big brother, a grandpa, a mentor, a teacher, wherever you are in relation to the young people in your life, to step into this invitation and the opportunity we have to MODEL what following Jesus really looks like, beyond the right answers and into the right actions.

  • We can model a deep faith in God.
  • We can model what it means to be kind.
  • We can model a deep commitment to justice.
  • We can model what healthy relationships look like.
  • We can model what it means to make space for marginalized voices.

This is what it is, to be an intentional dad, an intentional man, choosing to be present and not only say what is right… but do what is right.

And it’s a good word, because you are not alone.