Yes, I am aware, Father’s Day is past. But who cares. The real dads know that there is really nothing special about that day. Fatherhood, like motherhood, is an everyday affair. Besides, I was too busy playing Guesstures with my family last night, Face-timing my brother and his family, and talking with my father-in-law and mother-in-law to stop and write a silly blog. Life happens when technology is in the other room.
I am one of the lucky one’s (i.e. blessed!). I had a great dad. I have a great dad. I learned several life lessons by hanging around, observing, and listening to him.
When I think of fatherhood, here is what my dad taught me:
- One of the best ways to love your children is to love your wife.
- You father differently based on the age of your children. As they grow and mature, you adapt.
- Laugh and have fun.
- Live outside!
- Fan the flame of their dreams. There are already enough nay-sayers.
- Let your kids ride places with you. Life happens in the little moments.
- Have serious, strategic talks when the time is right (birds and the bees, respecting authority, etc.).
- Listen to your children.
- Don’t expect the church to do your job as a parent.
- Be the person you want them to be.
- Raise them to know that if they don’t live wholeheartedly with and for God, all is wasted.
- Be willing to apologize to your children when you are wrong.
- Coach your kids little league team.
- Don’t share financial struggles around your children.
- Teach your kids how to tie a fishing knot.
- Let your kids see you disagree and go back and forth (within limits; of course much of this needs to be hashed out behind closed doors).
- Teach your kids when they get older how to safely handle a gun.
- Allow your older kids to disagree with you so long as they remain respectful.
This list is by no means exhaustive. I left out numerous stories that my friends have encouraged me to turn into a book. I might, so I can’t share those now (lol)!
I am reminded of John Maxwell’s quote, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” In the context of fatherhood, what a powerful statement. Be sure to share your love before you try to impart any lessons.
Love opens the heart.
Love earns the right to be heard.
May we as dads love our wisdom into the hearts of our children.
Thanks dad for loving me and my siblings the way that you loved us.