“For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12 (NKJV)
As a dad, it’s vital to be fun.
Not juvenile, immature, or unsafe.
A fun dad is one who delights in, rejoice in, and enjoys his children.
What does this look like?
A dad who often looks his kid(s) in the eye and tells them with a loving smile how much he loves them and who praises the Father that he gets to be their father.
A dad whose laughter can be heard a lot when he’s around his kids.
A dad who is appropriately physically affectionate—hugs, kisses, snuggling, wrestling etc.
A dad who genuinely likes being around his kids—messes, volume, work, and all.
A dad who is skilled in the art of appropriate silliness—cracking the kids up.
A dad who loves to plan fun activities and make memories with his kids.
A dad who, when he’s with his kids, is not ignoring them by allowing constant interruptions from his phone that make them feel neglected.
A dad who does not always force his kids to only do what he likes but also considers the kids and likes doing what they like doing (whiffle ball, swimming, bike riding, tea parties, etc.) sometimes because he finds the most joy in their joy.
A dad who takes a lot of photos so that upon occasion he can sit down with his kids and revisit fun memories, laugh, and celebrate the grace of God in their relationship.
A fun dad is not only one who does “fun” things with his kids but who also creatively seeks to find ways to make even mundane chores and tasks fun. This might include turning on music to rock out to with the kids while doing the dishes or turning the yard clean-up day into a family project with a trip to the ice cream store when it’s done.
A dad should spend the majority of his time enjoying his kid(s) and making memories with them. Then, as needed, in the context of their loving, joy-filled, memory-making relationship, he points out folly, disciplines, and corrects sin. But—and this is vital—this happens in the context of a loving, enjoyable relationship with many deposits in the account of loving memories before withdrawals have to be made in tough seasons.
Because God the Father is a fun dad. Being together with him forever in heaven will not feel like an eternal root canal. It will be fun, joyful, and great.
Admittedly, perhaps no systematic theology text includes fun as an attribute of God, which is a sad omission of a fun fact. It is because God our Father loves us and delights in us that, when he corrects us in sin and folly, we can rest assured that he is still loving us and does so for our good.
Tragically, some dads don’t know how much the Father loves them and they don’t see him as a fun Father. Rather, they wrongly see God as a dour Dad, and they subsequently become dour dads.
Dad, how’s it going? Would your kids say you are a fun father? Would your wife say you are a fun father?
Perhaps for you, repentance looks like having more fun to the glory of God and good of your kids.