The Daddy Factor
© 2008 Teresa Cook
Many of you may have heard the story of the minister who was living his dream of spreading the faith. The most sought-after
evangelist in his denomination, he booked engagements four years in advance. Despite his travel, he made it a priority to
spend time with his family and had a remarkably strong relationship with his wife and children.
Then one day, his wife called about their teen son's increasingly argumentative and rebellious behavior. After relating the
latest incident, she said three words, "I need you." The minister immediately cancelled his meetings—all four years
of them—and returned home. Shortly thereafter, he moved his family to another state, accepted a pastorate at a small
church, and focused on his relationship with his son. This minister put his responsibility to his family over his career.
He never recovered professionally.
What neither parent knew at the time was that their son was listening in to their fateful phone conversation. His dad's
sacrifice made a profound impact on him. That boy was James Dobson who went on to found Focus on the Family, one of the
largest and most influential Christian ministries in the world.
Who is the most powerful man in the United States today? If you are a daddy with young children at home, the answer
is—you. No CEO of a major company, no megachurch minister, not even the President has the power to shape and mold
lives like you do. And while the world tells you repeatedly that your career is the most important thing you do, everything
you accomplish in your job pales in comparison with the work you perform at home.
As a mom, I'd like to believe I'm the most important influence in my children's lives. I dry their tears, kiss their hurts,
and listen to their grievances. As a stay-at-home mom I'm there for them morning, noon, and night and lovingly teach and
nurture them. But that's just it. I'm a mom, and that's what moms do.
A mom caring for her children is as novel as water coming from a faucet when you turn the handle. But a tap spewing Rocky
Road ice cream—hey, now that's something special! A dad generates that kind of impact when he takes an active role
in parenting his children. I call this the Daddy Factor, and it's one of the most persuasive forces on earth.
International speaker and author Josh McDowell1 has made a lifetime ministry of addressing the critical role fathers play
in preparing their children for life. He says, "The most powerful platform in the world is that of the daddy." And he backs
it up with statistics and studies that demonstrate the influence an involved and connected father has on his children.
In response to a question from President Bush on what he thought was the biggest problem facing America today, McDowell
once emailed seventy-eight pages of research to the President's assistant to substantiate his claim that it was "the daddy."
When President Bush included McDowell's premise in a Father's Day speech, the audience responded with a standing ovation.
Many fathers believe their sole family responsibility is to earn a good living, and they leave raising and nurturing the
children to their wives. Others think if they teach their children the difference between right and wrong, they've fulfilled
their duty. Josh McDowell disagrees. He believes the greatest impact a father can have on his children's lifelong behavior
is to develop a loving relationship with them.
Sound too simplistic? The foundation of McDowell's assertions is that "relationships engender our beliefs that form our
values that drive our behavior." Rules, instruction, and discipline mean nothing if not administered in the context of
a loving, intimate relationship.
In Psalm 26:3 (NLT), David said, "For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your
truth." Just as David's assurance of God's love led him to follow His precepts, children's confidence in their earthly
father's love makes them more eager to abide by his rules. While we want our children to live according to God's truth
because it's God's truth, children only know what they can see, hear, and feel in front of them. A flesh and blood father
who mirrors God's unconditional love goes a long way in ensuring his children avoid temptations such as drugs, alcohol,
Want to porn-proof your children? Start by making sure they know they have their father's unfailing love.