Building Strong Father-Son Relationships

A father’s love is imprinted on the heart of a son.

As a father of two boys, that sentiment stops me in my tracks. I didn’t have a good role model for fatherhood growing up. My dad died an alcoholic, and my stepdad walked out on my siblings and me the day of my mother’s funeral. After that, I went into foster care for almost two years.

Maybe your dad didn’t leave a positive imprint on your heart, either. Or maybe your father was a good man, but he struggled to connect with you as deeply as you would’ve liked.

What do we do about it?

If you’re raising a boy in your home – whether he’s six years old or 16 – I encourage you to tune into our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Building Strong Father-Son Relationships.” I’m joined by father and son team, Brian and Jeff Becker, to discuss how we fathers can have a positive impact on our sons.

Brian is a consultant and executive leadership coach, working primarily with nonprofit organizations. Jeff is a certified mental-peak performance coach who leads sports clinics across the country. Together, they’ve written a book called Tender Lions: Building the Vital Relationship Between Father and Son.

Brian’s friend once told him, “The opposite of love is not hate but laziness.”

Some fathers are physically present in the home but emotionally absent. If you want to be a good father, time and effort are essential. Love equals action.

For men to intentionally raise godly sons, Brian and Jeff offer three lessons:

  • Being vs doing. Many men define themselves by their career (what they do) rather than by their character and identity in Jesus.
  • Power in surrender. Learning how to surrender our will to the Lord is a vital part of becoming a real man. Short-term pain equals long-term gain.
  • Faith matters. In a culture that constantly pulls children toward narcissistic views that idolize individual feelings, desires, and self-centeredness, parents can be intentional about meaningful faith development in their children.

Listen to my full conversation with Brian and Jeff Becker on your local radio station, online, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app.

If you’re struggling as a father because of negative imprints on your heart, I encourage you to connect with one of our caring Christian counselors who will listen, pray with you, and get you on a path toward healing and hope. Contact us at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).

Before I close, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Brian and Jeff Becker’s book Tender Lions: Building the Vital Relationship Between Father and Son as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, click here.

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