And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18.
Lessons from Childhood
When I was a kid, our parents set the main course for our family. My dad was quiet, maybe one of the least talkative people I knew as a kid. He was terrible at singing in church. I knew him as a strict disciplinarian and held the line well. I don’t want to use the word fear because it would sound worse than I mean. But we knew he meant what he said. As much of a reputation, as my dad had, one of my favorite stories about him involved my youngest sister. She could be a challenge.
Frequently, our mom would send us to our rooms to “wait until dad got home.” The wait was awful. But after he came in, she would give the details and tell him to go ring our bell or whatever term she used. On this occasion, he went into her room and asked her what happened. We all thought she got swats (yes, we got those). But we found out later that he swatted the pillow and told her to act as if it hurt. What the heck?
My dad saw the need for the little girl he called daughter. I sometimes forget how much that word must have meant to him. He could have given her a swat or two. Instead, maybe he saw that my mom may have lost her sanity for a bit that day. He may have thought my sister deserved it, but he chose a different path. It worked. That moment has stuck with her to this day. We all have memories like that with him. Father making memories with his children.
Changing Roles of Fatherhood
My daughter tells me I was the most strict dad of her friends. I was fine with that, but I think I was too strict on some things. I took one of her “boyfriends” to the cemetery one time. His behavior made the meeting necessary. He needed a little more fear in his life and he got it that day. She told me, “Word got around, people think that was crazy”. Young man, if you are out there, I bet you would do the same thing for your daughter.
I hope I took advantage of some of those opportunities to connect with her as well. I have had a lot of titles in my life. Of those, “Dad” ranks at the top. I hope my kids know how much the words “daughter” and “son” mean to me.
My role has changed. Jordyn beat me to heaven, but I will see her again. Korbin is 18 and doing things we were told he would literally never do. Aly has her own daughter now, and it is so beautiful to watch her in that role. Right by her side, I am getting to watch her husband get used to the role of being a father. You ought to see it. This big man melts like butter around my granddaughter. I could see him faking swats because my daughter temporarily lost her mind.
- Young dads, how much time do you spend making memories with your children instead of doing things on your to-do list? You’ll get your list done.
- Old dads, don’t think of your role as less. It’s just a different view of beauty.
- Put “Making memories with your children” on your to-do list. Maybe it is a challenge, but it is the best thing on earth.