The following is taken from an e-mail I get from a friend 6 days a week. My Dad (and my Father-in-law) is alive. I’m grateful for the man he has been in my life. No family is perfect. We all have our “things” but my brother and I are and have always been loved. While our biological father was far less than dependable for my brother and absent in my life, our real father, our Dad was always there for us. That counts. That counts on all fronts. He is a quiet team player not leader type guy. His team was our family and still is. Thank you Dad. We are blessed.
I saw a sign in a store yesterday that said “the only thing better than having you as my husband is having you as my children’s Dad”. That’s exactly how I feel about my husband. I am GREATLY BLESSED. As it states later in my friends writing, 33% of kids in America do not live with a Dad present in their life. Their loss is our loss. So this Father’s Day let’s be grateful for what we have.
As we approach the day we honor dad – I want to do that for my dad, now gone for almost three years, and my father-in-law who passes late last year. I’ve been going through the Authentic Series and watched a couple videos on the ride home last night. The first session in the “Every Man Has a Story” series of lessons focused on looking back. God’s been pounding that lesson into my head a lot recently. Whether it is called gaining perspective, or lessons learned, or looking back, the truth is that our past has a significant impact on our present and will be a huge influence in our future. And we can’t really become authentic men if we don’t address those realities. Authentic manhood is defined as these four things:
- Reject passivity
- Accept responsibility
- Lead courageously
- Invest eternally
These two dads in my life demonstrated these four areas pretty effectively. They did it in different ways, but both had significant impact on my life. I didn’t spend nearly as much time with my father-in-law as my own dad, but he still impacted me in a big way. And that is the reality of dads. The data shows that today over 33% of kids grow up without a dad in the home. That is a staggering fact. And the impact of that on kids is huge and gives rise to a lot of the issues we face in society today. For those who did grow up with a dad, he was never perfect so all of us have some sort of father wound we need to address. The second lesson I watched on my drive home was about Dad’s and they call out the five key things that a dad needs to do for his kids:
- Time together
- Life skills
- Direction with solid answers to the ‘why’ questions in life
- Deep life convictions
- A dad’s heart
A key statement that struck me was this truth: you will leave in your kids what you live in your home. Dads – as you are celebrated this Fathers Day – realize you have an opportunity to make an eternal impact on your kids. It comes down to how you choose (and yes it is a choice) to use your time each day. If you want to fulfill God’s design for your life as a dad, you have to get priorities in order and not just be there but be intentional in how you build into and invest in your family. You can change the world, literally, as you create the leaders and citizens of the next generation. Are you making those kinds of decisions? Happy Fathers Day!