I have been having such a great Father’s Day week! My wife is going out of her way to do special things for me, my daughter has given me a card at least once a day this whole week (sometimes more), and my 3 year old son shows his affection by repeatedly trying to bloody my nose! As we have been going throughout the last two weeks or so, our family and I have had a lot of things going on. There have been a lot of situations and projects battling for my attention. Unfortunately I have found myself brushing my kids off a little more recently when they ask me to play with them. My response has been “Daddy just has to do a few more things before I can play”, or “Daddy’s really busy right now guys”. Then when I do get around to playing with them, it’s close to their bedtime or my body is there, but my mind is on what’s next on the list.
I can see how easily it would be for this kind of “busyness” to go on for a long time unchecked. By then your kids are so used to you telling them “no” that they just quit asking. I refuse to be that dad! This is where we as men need some help! Most of us are wired as doers, task finishers, project tamers, goal accomplishers, etc… And in being so we tend to have a bit of a one tracked mind, which works both for and against us. We need the support of our wives and other godly men that will hold us accountable and call us out when we are neglecting our kids. My wife does a great job at this. She is with them all the time, so she can tell when they are in need of more daddy time. This is one of the areas I would suggest you, as the leader of your home, ask your wife to help you in. I could overwhelm you with stats off how much better off kids are when the dad is not just there, but active and involved… But I won’t… I don’t have to… Deep down, you know it’s true and right anyway! You know how great it feels to see them smile just because you took the time to have a tea party, set up train tracks, or put a quilt on top of the couch cushions you so strategically placed in the hall that you could run, do a belly-flop, and slide all the way down the hall without so much as a scratch.
I am so glad that God gives us those little moments that serve as reminders that one of the reasons we were wired this way was so that we would cultivate our family too! I had several more things to do today at the house after an already long, hot day of work. My kids had been begging me to swim with them in their new kiddie pool their mom had picked up for them. I put them off a little while so I could attend to the “all-important” yard work. When I finally gave in, I placed a big tarp beside the pool to act as kind of a slip and slide. We all three had so much fun! I was able to relax and play with them all at the same time. That’s when God’s little reminder came to me that this is more important than any project list that I had been giving too much time and energy to.
We are called by God to shepherd, instruct, and disciple our children in the ways of the Lord. But they are just like other people in the world, they need to know you have their best interests at heart before they will really respond to what you try to teach them. If you don’t spend quality time with your kids, they will find someone who will and that person will own the influence in their lives. Dad, you are important!
Happy Father’s Day guys!