Become a great father. Enjoy the newfound time and energy you have if your kids are grown; be glad that the exhausting work of parenting young kids is behind you. Release yourself from the burden of always feeling as if you have to be your kids’ superhero. Embrace the freedom of just being yourself with them. Confess your parenting mistakes to God, and ask Him to forgive you. Apologize to each of your kids for specific ways you ended up hurting them in the past. Be proud of all you’ve done well as a parent. Thank God for your kids, and for all your parenting experiences have taught you about love. Be glad that you can now finally understand what your own parents went through when they were raising you. Make lists of what you think are your father’s best and worst qualities; then consider how you may have incorporated those qualities into your own parenting style. Ask your kids to tell you five things they don’t think you already know about them, and relish the time spent discovering more about them. Consider how some of your kids’ weaknesses may reflect some of your own. Appreciate your kids’ strengths. Write each child a letter describing specific qualities you like and admire about him or her.

Develop key character traits. Ask God to use your time at midlife to help you become a man of integrity, an openhearted son, a loving husband, a faithful provider, and a humble father.

Listen to God. Spends lots of time in prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to make God’s will clear for you so you can move into the future with confidence, making the best decisions.

Take a vacation with your wife. Get away with your wife for a vacation where the only agenda is simply to have fun together. Enjoy how much the experience rejuvenates you from the stress of all you’re going through at midlife.

Take care of your body. Be sure to eat a nutritious diet and get plenty of exercise so your body will be more likely to serve you well in the second half of your life.

Grieve the past and embrace the future. Make time to grieve all you’ve lost in the past. Then decide to try new things, exploring interests and talents have been dormant until now. Imagine Jesus joining you in the future, and look forward to meeting Him there!

Adapted from Midlife Manual for Men: Finding Significance in the Second Half, copyright 2007 by Stephen Arterburn and John Shore. Published by Bethany House, Bloomington, Mn.,
Stephen Arterburn is founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and host of the nationally syndicated New Life Live! daily radio broadcast. A nationally known speaker, he's been featured on
Oprah, in USA Today, US News & World Report, the New York Times and many other media outlets. Steve founded the Women of Faith conferences and is a bestselling author of more than 70 books including the EVERY MAN series. Steve and his family live in Laguna Beach, California.
John Shore, an experienced writer and editor, is the author of
I’m OK: You’re Not: The Message We’re Sending Nonbelievers and Why We Should Stop, and Penguins, Pain and the Whole ShebangClick here to visit John's blog.