I was first alerted to this video via Strong Fathers.
It’s worth a listen to…
I was first alerted to this video via Strong Fathers.
It’s worth a listen to…
At times, words fail me.
I wish I had a picture.
No I don’t.
The boys were… Let’s just say restless in church.
Yeah, that’s it. Restless.
We were all tired, and Sunday is a day when no one is forced to cook. We went to a local Italian Restaurant (which was really good).
How do I explain?
What words do I use?
Here’s the picture (in words).
The 2 year old is beside me, the 5 year old (and mom) is across the table.
I’m wearing a very nice shirt/tie/sweater-vest combo with slacks.
The two year old, steadies himself using my leg as a brace. The one area that isn’t covered by a napkin.
Some how, some salad dressing (wife shared with 2 yr old) ends up on my shirt. Still not sure how that happened.
Then, my wonderful child decides to “hug” dad’s arm, and give it kisses…
Yes, Pizza hands and kisses…
On my really nice shirt… and slacks.
I’ve learned, when you sit beside the child; you’re just as likely to wear his lunch as he is himself.
I’ll label this as “Things they didn’t teach you…in life.”
I’ve got two boys. Two small boys at the moment. They are both sweet and incouragable, all at the same time. Man, I love my kids.
I’m worried for them.
I’m worried for them for more than just one reason.
In the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, there is a point that really got to me. It is at the very end. The youngest son, stands up to his mother, letting her know that THIS particular young lady was who he loved…was who he was going to marry.
She relented to their union, accepting the young lady into her family. Then she says something along the lines of:
“…but, I reserve the mother’s right to worry…”
You know what, I reserve the father’s right to worry as well.
I’m not worried about terrorists. I’m not worried about natural disasters. I’m not worried about the things that might sneak up and tag them from behind.
I can’t do a thing about those.
I’m not worried about what I can’t control, but those things that I do.
I think that I may write about some of those worries here for a little bit.
Do you worry about your children? If so, what are your worries?
I’ve not written anything concerning Father’s Day, though I have thought about it.
I’ve read what other people have written.
I’ve cried a little bit.
I am a dad, afterall.
Like on this one from Dad-O-Matic: “My Little Girl Has the Biggest Heart.”
I am a dad, afterall.
I’ve wasted some time listening to the SBC Annual Convention Live Stream. Go there only if you desire some serious mind numbing.
We just got out of VBS, and I’m letting my eldest child go to another one down the street. Of course, I had to be there half the time to see how they were doing things.
While we did recognize Fathers on Sunday, we mostly celebrated the success of our VBS.
All of this, keeping Father’s Day at arms length.
This is what’s going on in my heart. My dad died a little over 4 years ago. While preparation for VBS kept me from thinking about it to much; Post-VBS has left me with time to think.
Basically, I’m still mourning the loss of my father.
I’m sure this will continue to happen to some extent the rest of my life. I don’t expect it, nor do I desire it to change.
Now that he’s gone, I think of all the kinds of things I could have said to him.
…conversations I could have attempted.
…life lessons to be passed down.
…stories to pass on to my own children.
Alas, it is to late. That is what I grieve.
However, I also find energy in my grief. This is energy to take more, and different initiative as a dad in the lives of my own children. Where I miss the potential opportunity of meaningful conversation with my father; I can set forth my own intention of doing so with my kids. Where I miss the chance to show affection to my own father, I can show affection to my own children.
Where I don’t have the opportunity to be blessed by my father. I can bless my own children, even this very day.
So yeah, I’ve not really written anything about Father’s Day.
But, I’ve been thinking about it.
It has been in my head and in my heart.
I first came upon this via a post by Maurilio Amorim.
The reason I’m bringing it to your attention is this. She says that, “Women end up marrying what they are familiar with, not what they want.” (my paraphrase.)
That rung a bell, and then I remembered words from a friend of mine named Doug. He has at least one daughter :) , and he once gave me some unsolicited advice. He said, “Love your daughter so much that she won’t take anything less from another man.” (Again, I’m paraphrasing. It is from my faulty memory!)
All this to say, our children are watching, imitating and thus learning from us.
Dads, You Matter!
It Takes A Dad.
I have a friend.
My friend has a high school aged child.
The child is deeply involved in church life. Seems to have a committed spiritual life. Even started a christian group at school.
My friend’s kid is also doing rather horribly academically.
We could talk about how we are supposed to honor God with our work; and school is the work of the teenager. I seem to remember Paul saying something about not working and not eating.
I think we could have a discussion about how doing our best in society (work for adults, school for teens) creates an opportunity for witness. Didn’t Paul make tents, living among the people gaining credibility and opportunity?
I bet we could make some sort of conversation around the idea that God uses the mundane, the every day, the ruts in our lives as points of transformation. Didn’t David spend years after his anointing as King, still playing the part of the shepherd of his daddy’s sheep? Did God use that time to create in him what He needed His would-be-King to be?
All this to say, maybe churches should have a No Pass, No Play Rule. Sure parents can do that too, and we can encourage them in that! Churches could come alongside parents, encouraging their youth to at least pass their classes to be able to engage in special church activities…say…like mission trips, retreats, etc.
I wasn’t a straight A student.
I’ve never been the sharpest tool in the shed. The one thing that kept me engaged in the courses I found so utterly useless and boring was the No Pass, No Play Rule. Can’t churches, in some way, shape, form or fashion, come along side of parents in this?
What do you think? Bad idea? How can churches help out in this area?
I had known Bob Matthews for more than a couple of years. As I think back, I had probably known him for about five years.
He was one of my Senior Adult men of the church. He was into his 90s, been married well beyond 60 (68?) years, and raised three great daughters. He’s a man that a younger guy could look up to.
We had announced in church that our first born was on his way. I believe we were into our 2nd tri-mester of the pregnancy.
It was before one service, and Bob waved me to the back of the church. I shook his hand, and he put his other hand on my shoulder.
He said, “Pastor, do you want to know the one thing your little baby will need the most?”
I replied, “Absolutely Bob, what is it?”
Bob said, “He’s going to need a Daddy that loves his Mommy.”
No truer words have ever been spoken to me.
Thank you Bob. I miss you. I’m trying me best to follow your advice.
Tell me. Are you giving your kid(s) the one thing that they really need today, dad?
At times, I think the only difference between a parent with adult children and parents of young children is this: The parents of younger children haven’t dodged the bullets that the parents of adult children have…Yet.
I am so grateful that my kids have grown up in relative safety; knowing that most of that safety is direct divine intervention. I marvel that I made it to adulthood! Without telling embarrassing stories, my brother and should have gotten injured more often than we actually did. There should have been many hospital visits.
I guess what they say is true: God looks out for children and idiots.
On top of it, I live in utter awe of my mother’s ability…NAY, HER VERY POWER OF IRON WILL to not take me out as a teenager.
I was an idiot.
Again, children and idiots…children and idiots.
Which brings me to my thought: How do we keep from killing our children?
Yes, I know. Morbid. But, hang with me for a second.
Ok, maybe we aren’t tempted to kill our kids. But, they do know how to push all the right buttons.
Let’s be honest. Dads are known for blowing their tops more than moms are. Yes, moms can do it too. But, dads are the ones with adrenaline flowing. We are the ones more prone to violence. We are more likely to react violently in anger.
So, how do we keep from abusing our kids when we come to that point of melt down?
We will be tired. They really will be on our very last nerve. And we will yell with Bill Cosby’s Wife, at the top of our lungs; “I’ve Had Enough of This!”
In my household, there are three things that keep me from eating my young.
1. Safety Valve named Spouse!
First, I have a wife. We act as good safety valves for each other. There have been times when I am just about to loose it that she steps in and deals with the kids.
I need to be man enough to let her. I need to be adult enough to recognize my own limitations. I have to care enough for my children, squash my ego instead of squashing my rug-rats.
If you don’t have a spouse, I don’t know what your safety valve can be. Perhaps you can talk with some other single dads and see what is working for them.
2. Accountability Partner
Another thing that keeps me on the straight and narrow is an accountability partner. I meet with another pastor in town, and we talk about stuff we want to be held accountable on. For me, one area of accountability is how I treat my kids.
Just the knowledge that I’m going to have to face Jeff on Thursday mornings has been enough for me to keep my cool.
3. Choose the Opposite
Lastly, I choose to do the opposite.
This is a self-control thing. I made the decision while still at work that I was going to try this on my eldest prince. I intentionally decided that:
BY-GOLLY IT WORKED!
I kid you not. I didn’t have to spank him once that night. The night was sooooo much more pleasurable for all of us in the household.
Look, I don’t know how you can absolutely, 100%, not go nuclear on your kids. But maybe, just maybe, these ideas can help you in some way.
So, how do you keep from killing your kids?