She was the youngest of four sisters. The three older ones had each gone on a weekend retreat with Dad and now it was her turn. She was really looking forward to having him all to herself for a whole weekend. He was a great dad – involved in her activities and attended most of her events. He was supportive of anything she wanted to do but one-on-one time was hard to come by.
Prioritizing physical presence is the first of the three dimensions of being a faithful father. The emphasis is typically on getting home from work at a consistent time and putting the kids’ activities on your calendar. One-on-one time is another level of physical presence that opens the door to better emotional engagement. This is key as dads work to stay connected in relationship with daughters, and sons, as they mature.
Scripture for reference: But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. … It was at this time He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. – Luke 5:16 & 6:12. Jesus’ one-on-one time with His Father was foundational for His journey – From preparing for an encounter with the devil in Matthew 4, to choosing His disciples in Luke 6, to drinking the cup that was His Father’s will in Luke 22:42. The devil could not drive a wedge between Jesus and His Father because He and His Father were one. And Jesus knew the battle was not against His Father but against the devil. This is important to remember today as well – the battle is not between dads and kids but between family and the world. One-on-one time affirms relationship that prepares kids for the battle.
The devil throws up all kinds of road blocks to keep one-on-one time from happening – busy schedules, teenage conflicts, and divorce to name a few, so it must be important. The evil one is the antithesis of relationship. The dad that committed one-on-one time with each of his daughters rebuked evil and blasted through those road blocks. And the daughters that committed time to be with their dad were blessed because daughters and sons that have a healthy relationship with their father perform better academically, are more likely to accept delayed gratification and are generally more confident in their own skin than kids without dads in their lives.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the many gifts and blessings in my life, Near the top of the list is the blessing of children and the opportunity to raise them under Your word and in Your love. Jesus said of His disciples, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one.” (John 17:22). May the glory You have given me be passed on to my kids through our time together, that they may desire to know You because they first knew me. Amen.
A faithful father schedules regular one-on-one time with his wife and each child.