In Search of Greatness as a Father

By Roland Warren
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

There are two definitions of greatness. Which will you choose?

A buddy asked me to meet with a young father who was at a critical crossroad. As this father and I talked, I learned we had a lot in common. We both grew up without our fathers. We graduated from the same university. And we both got our girlfriends pregnant during our junior year of college. However, unlike me, who decided to marry and be a father to my child, this man was struggling to step up to his responsibility. He was tempted to abandon his child and the mother. He told me that he hoped to do “big things.” A wife and a child would hold him back.

Many fathers believe they face a similar dilemma — care for a family or do great things in the world. This conversation prompted me to think about what being great really means.

Two definitions

Jesus told His disciples that if they wanted to be the greatest, they must be the servant of all. He said that when His disciples were willing to receive a lowly, vulnerable child, it was like welcoming Him (Mark 9:33-37).

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Herod the Great built monuments to his “greatness” but was harsh with people, even killing three of his own children. For Herod, greatness was serving himself, not others.

Daily, two definitions of greatness are set before every father. If he chooses Herod’s definition, he will be self-centered and prioritize his own needs above those of his children. If he defines greatness as Jesus did, he will be a self-sacrificing father who cares for the “little ones” whom God has entrusted to him.

Pursue greatness

Great fathers are physically and emotionally available. Kids are reassured of your love when you invest in them with your time. What comes to mind if you ask yourself, How can I be more involved in every aspect of my child’s growth and development? The greatest dads also seek a strong relationship with God, pray daily for and with their children, and model the spiritual behavior they want to see.

So let me ask you the same question I asked that young father: What kind of greatness will you pursue today?

 Roland C. Warren is the author of Bad Dads of the Bible: 8 mistakes every good dad can avoid.

Copyright © 2014 by Roland C. Warren. Used by permission.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Roland Warren

Roland Warren is the CEO of Care Net, the nation’s largest network of pregnancy resource centers which offer a Christ-centered, compassionate alternative to abortion. Roland has appeared in many national media outlets and has written a monthly column for The Washington Times called “Pop Culture.” He is the author of Bad Dads of the Bible: 8 Mistakes Every Good Dad …

You May Also Like

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.


If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.