Dads! Learn to miss your children!

Child: Say something,fatherless-chalkboard-300x224

Father: I’m giving up on you.

Child: I’ll be the one if you want me to? Anywhere, I would have followed you! Say something!

Father: I’m giving up on you!

Such a sad dialogue, full of raw emotion, a desperate desire for belonging and also a cry for help. Perhaps not the direction a Great Big World and Christina meant the interaction to follow, but to me, it sounds like the interaction between a father and son/daughter as they attempt to find value and worth in the eyes of that father, and as with many, fail to find it because that parent may not care or perhaps is just worn out and needs a break. Be careful though, while needing space is important and necessary, some things are taught and others are caught, not by what we hear, but rather by the way things are said.

Many Fathering advocates will come up with a bold list of moral and societal challenges, all of which fall squarely at the feet of dads who missed the mark, or worse, never even tried. A quick search will find the ills for which these dads are held accountable: Poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, physical and emotional illnesses, educational under achievement, crime, sexual activity and teen pregnancy fill only 6 categories.

“But that’s not me” you might say, “I am not that dad!” You may be correct. The question now becomes, what type of dad are you? Are you actively ensuring your kids don’t fall prey to statistics? What ripples does our subtle indifference cause in the lives of our children? We can forget how parents are looked to for support, that gentle smile a subtle glance in their direction. All these act as a natural steroid to our children’s abilities, coaxing them, encouraging them, believing in them.

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Sticks and Stones…But words?

WordsI’ve decided to do a few pieces on how we as parents can either Curse or bless our children.  The kicker is that most parents would cringe at the thought of cursing their beloved little ones, but if we actually take a step back and think about how we speak to them, even over this last week for example, I bet we would all be able to highlight a few sterling examples of where we did anything but heap praises and blessing on our kids.

Every morning as the sun dares to dip its toes in the pool of a new day, Mom and dad wake with the greatest of intentions. Today, I will succeed, today I will be victorious, I will conqour the business world, my family with ascend to greater heights, my children will yet again wonder what they did to deserve such amazing parents, I will walk through this day causing such ripples in the Devils desires for my life that he will wish for me not to get up tomorrow for fear that we will again punch gaping holes in his plans for me, my marriage and my children. Lookout, here comes Mommy and Daddy!

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The Purpose of a Father! Part 2

 Well, here we go with part 2 of the purpose of a Father. Everyday it seems I fall in my pursuit of perfection as a Dad, but do you know what? That’s fine, I know whose I am and I know I am a new creation, righteous, cleansed and with these truths at my side I will press on forgetting all the mistakes that lie behind me. I will keep pursuing my Fathers heart in this area, and I believe the last eight purposes are well connected with Gods heart for Fathering.

Again, this is not a fully comprehensive list, but it’s a good start, a good measuring tool with which to gauge where you are as a father, and where you feel God wants you to be.

Here we go, the Purpose of a Father is:

  1. To create a place of safety.
  2. To set the atmosphere.
  3. To love his children’s Mom.
  4. To pray for his wife, children and marriage.
  5. To set the example that you must live what you speak.
  6. To raise warrior princes and beautiful princesses.
  7. To set the example of what God intended relations to be.
  8. To create focus.

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It’s Not About Smacking! Part 2

Well, here we go, part 2.

I think its important to note that as much as our children will need grace from both God and ourselves, we will need grace from them. We are not perfect, we will get it wrong, sometimes horribly. But I believe that so long as the driving force behind your actions is a Godly love for you child, a deep desire to see them grow into all that God has planned and to not let anything get in the way of seeing Gods plan for their lives unfold before them, even if it is themselves, then we will be able to correct any miscalculations in our course as parents.

My Dad didn’t hit us as children, or at least I can’t remember, but he had a look that stopped us dead. The mere thought or warning of this look made us behave, well it made me behave, I can’t speak for my brother. But, even that is not enough as it is an external motivator. We need to train our children to be internally motivated to what is right, so that even when everything around them is saying do this or do that, their default setting, their point of reference is an internal compass informed by what they have learnt.
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The Need

“He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Yesterday, I saw an email about 2 little children living in abject poverty. Nothing new I suppose, but my heart broke, I looked into the 3 year old girls eyes and saw my own child, I looked at her dirt covered feet and saw my own child, I saw her quivering lips and saw my own child. Her expression seemed to cry out, with a need that echoed thoughout my world, her cry was that she be loved, that she be protected, that she had a place to bury her head when afraid and know that no matter what, she was safe.

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