You need to be present in your kids lives. Which of these would you rather be?
Missing In Action, Definition – “used to say that a soldier cannot be found after a battle and might have been killed, captured, or wounded.”
Man In Action, Definition — Being an active man in the life of your family. You aren’t hard to find and are present where needed.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 — “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and your gates.”
Your Presence, or Lack Thereof, Matters
If you grew up in the 80s watching TV as I did, you’ve probably seen the commercial about the father finding his son’s weed stash. The dad confronts the son saying, “Where did you get this? Where did you learn about this?”.
The son replies through tears, “I learned it from you.” When that marketing department sat down to try to convey the dangers of drugs, they were probably trying to find a way to deliver a strong message. While there may have been some cheese on that commercial, having your children learn a potentially life-threatening habit from you hits the mark.
I know, when was the last time you taught your child how to do drugs? Never I hope. But there are lessons we teach our children daily with our words and actions. No one is born a racist; that is a learned behavior just like many bad habits. If you’ve taught your children the dos and don’ts in life, you’ve completed the starting points of being a father. There’s much more, however!
Why You Need to Be Present in Your Kids Lives
What lessons are we teaching our child when we are absent in their life? You don’t have to be divorced to be missing from your child’s life. I’ve seen families who spend a lot of time together, yet the dads might as well be on another planet. Sitting in your recliner watching football only to dole out nuggets of wisdom between commercial breaks is not investing in your children.
The “Dad Show” is a 24-hour episode and you are the star. Whether that is fair or not, it’s what you signed up for when you had children. The good news is your children are not looking for perfection. They need to see you succeed and fail in life. They want to know how you react to that because they are not going to get it right all the time either. So they will want to know how to handle either situation.
A Real-Life Example of Why You Need to Be Present in Your Kids Lives
My family and I were at Red Robin recently, and my wife used her Birthday coupon to get a free burger. Red Robin uses that table tablet to pay your bill. I was checking out and noticed that not only did the coupon remove her burger, but they took off two other meals altogether. Now I could have quickly paid the $6.32 for all four of us to eat and no one would have known the wiser. But I’ve been called to a higher standard. If I’m a reflection of Christ, then that means I need to reflect even when no one is watching. Even if no human is watching, God sees all.
So I told my wife and sons what happened and called the waitress over. It took about 5 minutes to get the waitress back to the table. We could have paid that and walked out, and no one would have known. However, I used it as a teachable moment.
My sons have been taught these lessons, but I’m glad this happened so they could see that these lessons don’t change over time. Men, our calling as a dad is one that never ends. You can be Missing In Action, or you can be a Man In Action.
For more reading materials on why you need to be present in your kids lives, see below:
- Support Your Kids: Be There For Them
- Your Kids Learn in the Details
- Being There For Your Kids When it Matters