Dads, We Are Blessed

Dad and son shavingHey you dads, future dads and dads at heart, I have some words to share with ya.  With Father’s day coming up, I’ve been reflecting on my own role as a dad.  Here’s a few thoughts:

God has given us a blessing.  An absolutely rewarding, challenging, humbling, legacy-filled blessing……..the opportunity to be fathers.

Our role as fathers shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Our kids are watching us in many ways:

  • How we interact with others
  • How we treat women
  • How we respect their moms
  • How we lead
  • How we follow
  • How we handle problems
  • How we show grace to others
  • How we serve and who we serve

I think it’s important that we remain true to ourselves and to who God created us to be.  We each have certain skills and abilities, strengths and weaknesses.  Amidst the expectations of society, it’s really easy to lose focus of this.

The daily pressures that we face to be “manly” all the time can feel overwhelming.  I’ve personally struggled with this at times.  Culture tells us not to show our tears.  I encourage you to do the opposite……show your tears and humbly admit when you’re wrong.  Show vulnerability.  Your kids will respect you more for it.

When you feel weak and inadequate, turn to Jesus for strength.  Sometimes, falling on our faces out of reverence gives us the strength to stand firmly and confidently.  In fact, it’s right where God wants us to be.

Join me in praying for our families daily.  Let’s pray for God’s protection over our children during such crazy times.  That His guiding hand would cover them.  That God would go before them and prepare a way of blessing, that they may be a blessing to others.

This world needs more loving fathers.  Men who have found the balance of firm leadership and gentleness.

Never miss the opportunity to scoop your kid’s cheeks into your palms, kiss them on the face and tell them “I love you.”  Your words make a difference.

Look for the small moments. Teach them how to skip rocks, make sandwiches or pick berries.  Make farting noises, laugh out loud and be goofy.  It’s often in these in-between times that memories are made and legacies are left.

Think of the good men in your lives who have shaped you….be like them.

The words that I write come from my own experiences, failures and hopes.  By no means have I arrived.  This imperfect journey in fatherhood will continue for years to come.

Let’s be men full of integrity, love and strength, by His grace only……little ones are counting on us!

God Bless,

Paul

 

 

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Scars Are Cool

bruise on the boy's legThe other day, my oldest son fell off his bike and hurt his knee.  There was some blood and dirt involved.  You know, the usual carnage that we’ve all experienced as bike-riding kids.

He whined a little and had that, “I’m scared, make it all better!” thing going on.  It was pretty cute really.  Kind of a “welcome to manhood” moment.

So I did what any loving dad would do……I made light of it.  I started cheering him on and emphasized that scars were cool.  After that, I pulled out my phone and took some pictures.  His grimace slowly became a grin.

After the drama subsided, I was able share some of my own bloody knee stories.  I told him about the different scars that I’ve collected and the accidents that caused them.  He thought that was pretty cool and the pain/fear suddenly became a distant memory.  We were both now a part of the “scar club.”

My son felt comforted by the fact that I’ve experienced pain too.  That I’m human.  That I understand.

My boys want and need a dad who shows them his scars too.  I think all kids want that.  It opens avenues of trust.

You see, if our only role in a child’s life is that of power, a disconnect happens.  The transparency is lost and the door of communication remains slightly cracked at best.

My goal as a dad is to provide freedom.  Freedom to fail, freedom to hurt, freedom to be independent, freedom to choose, freedom to approach me with anything, anytime, anywhere……because I love my kids.  Period.

Within that freedom also lies boundaries and discipline.  There’s a fine balance there….one that will take me a lifetime to figure out, story by story, scrape by scrape.  By God’s grace only.

My son acquired a cool scar that day.  I acquired a full heart as we bonded over cool stuff like blood and dirt.

God Bless,

Paul