I have been privileged to see my amazing husband parent 3 children during our years together. We had children early on ( current ages 21, 19 and 13), so our marriage has literally grown up with our children.
Here are the top 5 qualities I see in my husband and my children's father:
1. Encouraging and affirming of our children's gifts, potential, and personhood. Jon is the proverbial "cup half full" sort of guy. This is one of the things that I love most about him. And it has served him well as a father. My children have been blessed to consistently hear how wonderful they are in his eyes...sometimes for what they do, but mostly just because they are his! It has been said that it takes 7 compliments to off-set one critical/negative remark. Therefore my children are able to receive correction from Jon more easily (most of the time !) because they are secure in his view of them.
2. Consistent devotional and prayer life. My children have seen my husband spending time alone with God many days of their lives. To my knowledge, I do not think he has missed a day in our 23 years of marriage. Many times he is up late praying in our family room. Simply put, my children know where the source of their father's strength comes from. "I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him..." (I John 2:13) I now see my children practicing this discipline for themselves on their spiritual journey. A big reason: their father modeled it for them.
3. Not afraid to lovingly confront. Because my husband is a man of the Word, it gives him the authority to instruct and correct when needed. His guideline is the truth of the God's word when a course correction has been needed in our children's lives. He knows that he will be held accountable for this and trusts in God's power and help when he needs to say the difficult things and expose sin. Warning, dads: Do not become lazy or preoccupied as Eli the priest did in his fatherly duties. Eli failed to confront his son's sins and God judged him harshly because of it. (I Samuel 2) His sons never rose to the potential they were called to because of the immature, selfish, perhaps "want to be friend to my children" attitude of Eli.
4. Gives plenty of quality time to each child. Jon has certainly sacrificed hobbies and personal time in order to benefit our children. He has been present in our home and in the activities of each child. Bedtime has been a key in connecting with their hearts as small children. He has been up late with our teenagers when they are ready to talk.
5. Honest and humble. Our kids have seen Dad clean the kitchen after dinner and clean the bathrooms...two jobs he would rather not do, but does because he knows it blesses me! They have heard him apologize when he has messed up. Bottom line, they have seen their Dad walk what he talks.