by Ted Lowe

As most dads do, I adore my three kids. But as most dads do, I second-guess how well I’’m doing. From tidbits to full-blown philosophies, advice for dads is everywhere:

  • “Don’’t be your child’s friend, be their dad.”
  • “Time is flying by, enjoy every moment with your kids.”
  • “Nothing is more important than your child’’s education, make sure you save enough for college.”
  • “Be firm.”
  • “Spark their imagination.”
  • “Teach them independence.”
  • “Teach them to be team players.”

So which of the above or thousands of other pieces of advice are the most important? I can feel the anxiety rising up in me as I type. After all, other than being a husband, being a dad is the most important earthly relationship of my life. I would say that most guys feel the same way.

Ladies, in case you didn’’t know, we guys can be a little insecure, especially when it comes to our performance as dads. So, while your husband loves grill tools and homemade cards for Father’’s Day, the greater gift is the assurance you notice the things he is doing right.

For Father’’s Day this year, compose a letter by filling in the following blanks in the letter below. Despite the fact that he probably won’’t respond to you with tears in his eyes and a “”Thank you, sweetheart for shoring up my anxious soul,”” your words matter to him even more than you probably know.

You may be thinking, but there are a lot of things he isn’’t doing right as a dad. Don’’t worry about that—chances are he already knows. Trust me, affirming him for what he is doing right almost always has the pleasant side effect of lessening and/or improving the things he is doing wrong. So, go ahead, this Father’’s Day love away by giving your stressed out husband a little verbal love. You’’ll be glad you did. Then let us know how it went.

Dear_____________________________

I want to thank you for the way you love ______________________________.

I admire the way you always ________________________________________.

It makes me laugh, the way you________________________________.

Thank you for providing by________________________________.

My favorite memory of you as a dad this year was when_________________.

Thanks for being such a _________________, _________________, and ________________ dad.

Love

Ted Lowe is a speaker and the director of MarriedPeople, the marriage division at Orange. Ted is the author of two books—one for marriage ministry leaders (Married People: How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last) and one for married couples (Your Best US: Marriage Is Easier Than You Think). He served for almost 10 years as the director of MarriedLife at North Point Community Church. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with his four favorite people: his wife, Nancie, and their three children.