Why I Usually Feel Like a Failure as a Father


I don’t know if I have mentioned it very much to anyone accept one of my Bible studies. But I often feel like a failure as a father. I feel as though I have turned in to the type of dad I never wanted to be. I wanted to be the cool dad who was always in control.

I have definitely failed in that respect. I yell at them more than I ever wanted to. I have never had a very long fuse and since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia it seems like my fuse is even shorter.

I hate to be disrespected, what man enjoys it especially coming from his own children? But there is one thing I have to keep in mind is, I disrespect the authority of Christ on a daily basis, and did even worse before I was a Christian. Romans 5:8 tells us he died for us while we were still sinners far from him. He took/takes all of my disrespect and still loves me.

I need to learn to be long suffering the same way God is. It is one attribute I wish I had. God tells us he chastises those whom he loves.(Hebrews 12:3-11) I have taken my boys to these verses and shown them what the word of God says about the discipline of God. After showing them this, I explain to them in an effort to be Godly I follow the example He has set, and while it is not pleasant it is for their own good.

No matter how they are disciplined the responses I usually get are to be treated as a monster; or to have temper tantrums thrown because they did not get their way. Along with a lot of screaming on their part of how evil I am. It hurts me to my soul to hear my children speak of me this way. However, I am trying to teach them how to be good men.

I often feel as though I am not setting the best example to them and hope I am not screwing them up for the rest of their life. I have had to change my understanding of discipline over the years because our oldest son has Aspergers and he does not respond to traditional methods of discipline.

I have learned I need to be more gracious and not allow my natural inclinations to take root in my heart. I am far from perfect but the Lord is working on my heart and showing me where I need to change. It is hard to admit, I am not the “world’s best dad” or any other slogan you might find on a t-shirt at father’s day. I am coming to grips with my imperfections and trying to improve them.

Life is still challenging, but there is a God who sits on his throne and sees what I am going through. I believe there is an ultimate purpose to all the struggles I face with these boys. (Romans 8:28) is my life verse and is a comfort in these trying times.

Question: How do you handle discipline in your home?


  1. Stand in the Storm (Jennifer)

    Hi Paul, I don’t have children, I have to say that right off the bat lol. But! I wanted to encourage you a little anyway – by finding out if you had ever read Instruments in the Redeemers Hands (or even War of Words) by Paul Tripp.

    The reason it occurred to me with this blog article is that he is this amazing, tenderhearted, and godly man who in the books also says how he can really struggle with parenting!!! He gives real life examples of how he has messed up and how he’s made it right. He’s so honest and so helpful in seeing how the change that happens in us is when God changes our hearts. As you say in your post. :)

    He also has some parenting resources on his website that look pretty good – http://www.paultripp.com/parenting

    Not that you have to buy them, you might find them on youtube as well.

    Blessings, brother.

    1. pmhorneadmin (Post author)

      Thank you for your reply. No I haven’t read those works. I have read some of this others along with Tim Lane. Thanks again.


  2. dilemmamike

    I fear we are far too leanient. However, being an instructor in a cosmetology school, I have done a lot of research with the girls that I have been teaching. The average is, if you’re too lenient they will lose sight of your morals. If you’re too strict they will rebel. Finding a happy medium is very challenging.

    1. pmhorneadmin (Post author)

      Mike that’s the trouble trying to find that happy medium. I hope that they remember the good more than the bad. How’s the book coming?


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