By Chris D’Souza

NOTE: This “Father’s Day Pledge” is taken from Good Fathers to Great Dads: A Relational Approach to Fatherhood by Chris D’Souza and Adrian Stevens from India. It is used with permission again this year after first being published here a year ago. Dads might want to print it out and post it on their bathroom mirrors for daily renewal.

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I solemnly resolve before God and my family to always keep in mind the dignity and responsibility of my calling as a dad. I will always be grateful for the gift of my family and the privilege of fatherhood.

I thank God for the legacy that I have received from my parents, and if there have been any unresolved issue of the past, I will strive, with God’s grace and professional help, to deal with them effectively for my sake and that of my family.

I will honor the marriage covenant made before God and man by loving and respecting my wife as the equal partner in leading our family. I will keep our marriage relationship exclusive, sacred and will strive to invest in transparent and honest communication with her on a regular basis.

I will strive to be a role model to my children, demonstrating integrity and walking the talk at all times. I will freely and sacrificially give of my time and resources as I nurture and build my relationship with them.

I will look for opportunities and avenues to respectfully and lovingly affirm my children, and by my positive words and actions build up their sense or significance and self-worth.

I will build appropriate boundaries for my children; view discipline as a means, not an end and make sure that it is carried out lovingly and in partnership with my spouse.

I will strive to build up my relationship with my children by understanding their point of view, looking for opportunities to engage with them and strengthen our bond by words and acts of love.

I will not only be a provider and protector to my children, but also be always available as a companion, guide and teaching, envisioning the emotional, spiritual as well as physical growth of my children.

While I will earnestly work to provide for the needs of my family, I will also seek to keep in proper balance – work, rest, prayer and recreation with my family.

In everything, I will remember that I have a tremendous responsibility as a spiritual leader in representing God the Father to my children. I will not avoid or delegate this responsibility. To this end I will strive to build up and nurture my own relationship with God first.

I will always remember that every thought, word and action of mine is rolling up into a legacy that I will leave behind for my children.