He needs you to love his mom.
One of the best things for a son to see is for his dad to love his mom. For him to see that in the home provides a sense of comfort and security and it shows him what is expected of him as he matures and begins to think about marriage.
He needs to see you fail, not just succeed.
Don’t highlight only your strengths in front of your son and hide your weaknesses and failures. Doing that will only provide a sense of despair in his life when he can’t live up to the fabricated standard of perfection that you’ve imaged to him. If you allow him to see you fail, you are then in a more healthy place to model a life of repentance.
He needs you to be present.
Have a healthy presence in your home. Don’t always be gone in the name of “work.” Don’t allow your work schedule to dominate you, but dominate your work. Be around for dinner time, bath time, homework time, etc. Hang out with your son. Even more than family time, plan a day regularly to just have a dude’s date. Use that time to just connect with him. Talk to him. Pray with him. Eat with him. Tell him stories. Ask him questions. Learn your son by being present.
He needs your love regardless of his choices.
Your son is going to make wrong decisions. Even then, love him. Tell him you love him. Talk to him about how he can learn from those wrong decisions. Don’t allow his wrong decisions determine the depth of love you have for him. Love him in his failures as God does you.
He needs you to affirm him.
Speak potential over your son’s life. Tell him “you can do it.” Tell him he’s smart. Tell him he’s doing a good job. Affirm your son often through words of encouragement. Tell him you love him all of the time. You can’t do that enough.
He needs you to discipline him in love.
Don’t allow your son to get off track without disciplining him. A good dad disciplines his children. It is an expression of the father’s love. Note that discipline is different than punishment. Punishment is meant to intend physical, emotional, and/or spiritual pain. Whereas discipline is meant to correct, to teach, to groom, and to redirect. Discipline your son.
He needs you to point him towards Jesus.
More importantly than anything else, your son needs to know Jesus. Therefore, point him towards Jesus by modeling a personal relationship with Jesus in your own life, through the Scriptures, prayer, and everyday life. Talk to him about Jesus in a way that he understands you hold sacred your relationship with Jesus and that your desire is that he could experience the same type of relationship.