It’s amazing how easily I subconsciously appropriated his character and nature. In both good and bad ways, I am my father’s son. And I can see the same process unfolding in my own children. They are like me in both good and bad ways.
The transfer from fathers to sons is more than genetic, of course. It includes emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual and intensely personal things. I can hope or wish that the transfer won’t happen with my bad habits and attitudes, but it’s unavoidable. Long after I’m gone, my “like father, like son” legacy will remain.
From an early age, children learn from observation, experience and social interaction with their parents. They learn how to treat others with respect, or not. They learn how to act with integrity, or not. They learn how to worship and pray, or not.
My one hope is Jesus—that he will take my life and transform it supernaturally into Christ-likeness at every turn. While I often fail in my Christian walk, my sons have another Father who won’t. That’s the best “like Father, like son” legacy of all.
An old lyric says it this way:
Like Father, like son,
with arms outstretched and love for everyone.
My highest praise will be,
that someone can say of me,
like Father, like son.
Guard your sons and teach them to be more like their spiritual Father. Introduce them to Jesus and encourage them to grow in their faith and their faithfulness to God.
You’ve likely heard that kids need to hear at least 3 things from their parents on a regular basis. This is especially true in father-son relationships. They need to hear you say:
- “I love you.”
- “I’m proud of you.” (be especially proud of their spiritual growth)
- “You’re good at…” (affirm their godly words and actions and encourage them to understand and use their spiritual gifts)
So what’s the Big Idea?
Fathers, tell your sons that you love them and affirm their spiritual growth. Helping them become more like their spiritual Father is the best “like Father, like son” legacy of all.
- Raising a Modern-Day Knight by Robert Lewis
Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson
- Making Men by Chuck Holton
Dorothy Hausch, Joe Huffman, John Randolph Cox, and Reid Hausch, “Like Father, Like Son,” Makin’ It Matter by Truth, Benson Records, 1987.