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  • Writer's pictureJohn Nolan


Updated: Jun 7

Reconciliation through forgiveness
A father should lead the way by saying sorry quickly

The Ability To Say Sorry

Great Dads are quick to say sorry!

It is important to realise that ‘fathering’ is not an exact science. There are many different parenting styles and no one way is the best. What we need to be looking for as a father is the way that works for you within the family dynamic that you have created. There are however certain ‘principles’ that must be present if you are to develop and maintain a loving and happy family.

Great Dads protect the family dynamic


(of a process or system) characterised by constant change, activity, or progress.

Family life does not just stay the same, it is an ever-changing relationship as our children and we as their parents grow and mature. Having said that, there is a relationship dynamic that must be protected if that family is to stay strong and united. Family breakdown is rampant throughout modern society and there are many different reasons for this. However, one of the most common reasons why ‘families’ breakdown is that the members of that family grow apart through a deterioration of the connections between family members.

The first dynamic that needs to be protected is your relationship with your wife, as the ‘parents’ everything else flows down from how you treat each other. The following dynamics are how the members of the family treat each other, and it is up to the ‘father’ to ensure that these relationships stay healthy and loving.

Great Dads are called to lead by example

What we do as fathers will set a standard, a pattern which the whole family will live by. If we are quick to admit our own faults and to ask for forgiveness from other family members when we make errors, then they will find it much easier to do the same. But if we refuse to accept our own failures and limitations then we actually train our family to do the same, and our example will bring calamity rather than peace within the home. A father’s life example is perhaps the greatest means available to bring positive change within the family unit.

Even great Dads make mistakes

It is important to realise that all fathers make mistakes, as a father you will probably do things and say things that upon reflection you may well regret. That is because we are all human, not perfect, not infallible but just men, doing the best we can, one day at a time. Understanding our own fallibility is a sign of maturity and not of weakness.

Those who can’t admit their failures are destined to repeat them. Great Dads are able to accept their own weaknesses and failures philosophically and move on as they attempt to improve a little each day.

Great Dads have to know what is important

It’s not always easy for a man to accept and admit that he was wrong, our human pride wants to make excuses for our every action but that is a pathway that leads to failure. What is more important to you? To seem to be right all the time? Or to have the love and respect of your family?

A respected person in my life once told me that you have to choose your battles wisely within the family environment, and that there are times when it’s just ‘not that important’ for you to be right and to get your own way as the father. Wisdom as a father stems from a heart of service toward our family and understanding what is best for the family is more important than what I want as an individual.

Great Dads are called to bring reconciliation in the family

As the father and leader of our home we are often expected to come up with a positive parenting plan, a pathway for our family to follow. Great fathers help to maintain healthy and happy relationships in the family, whether it is between himself and his wife and children or between the other family members. An understanding of how to bring reconciliation between individual members of the family after arguments is vital as a father.

Reconciliation begins with an understanding that maintaining a loving and healthy family is more important than one family member being right. Requiring family members to say sorry to each other is the first step toward rebuilding the bridges that have been broken down by an argument within the family. It is here that a father’s own life example has the greatest impact and influence, as without a lifestyle of forgiveness himself, a father has no credibility to ask family members to say sorry as well.


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