Working dads not absentee fathers

This past weekend, our pastor was talking about being a leader, but also about what really breaks your heart, and what can you do about it. This really got me thinking, What really bothers me, what can I do to make a change, in my world/city/office….. Then it finally hit me, as I was on the road again for work, Why is it that as parents, mainly us dads, worry so much about being successful and getting ahead that our kids suffer. It should never be this way.

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Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (Nehemiah 4:14 NLT)

As parents what are we doing to continually pour into the lives of our kids, not pouring money, but pouring love, encouragement, life lessons, into our children. Today kids are growing up so fast, we are all becoming accustomed to an instant gratification life style. We have smart phones on 24/7, device after device, on our person, in our cars, OnDemand TV, everything is at our beckon call. Many of the generation behind me, the 24 and under crowd, at least many of the ones I have been around, have had life handed to them. Now I’m not saying that I had a rough childhood, but something that was instilled in me by both of my parents, and also my grandparents, was that if you want something, you sure will be working for it. Things were not just handed to you, you did your chores, got your allowance, saved and got those things that you wanted.

Again this trait was mainly pushed on me by my father, and the other male influences in my life. My parents, my in laws, my grandparents are and were very hard workers; that being said, they were always at home for dinner, at every basketball, soccer, baseball game, every school event. Today we see too many parents that say, Oh I will just go to the next one, there is only one first performance, only one first goal…..

Now granted there are times, that a parent cannot be present for these things and I understand that, and I’m not talking about one offs. I’m talking about, working to the point that your kids see you twice a week for an hour when they are going to bed, and in that time you are on your phone/computer/whatever. Pay attention to your kids and family. At the end of the day, another job will come along, but family is forever.

Take a listen to this song from Kirk Franklin

Those that have read my post before know my posts have as much ADD as I do, so back to my original point on this. I have come up with a few should’s and should nots:

Being a working Father Should:
1. Help instill the value of hard work into our children.
2. Provide for our families.
3. Cause us to thank God everyday for all that he provides.
4.

Being a working Father should not:
1. Cause us to miss out on our children’s lives
2. Cause our wives to live as single mothers
3. Stop us from always being present.
4. Make us feel that our family is an obligation.

I want to draw attention to should not #2 for a second. Many people have jobs that take them on the road for days/weeks/months at a time, I was recently on a project that had me away from home 3 days a week for 3 months practically. During this time my wife had a lot of additional responsibility, and it killed me that she was having to tackle our crazy, sweet but crazy, 4 yr old by her self. I did what what I could while I was in town, but it was only a fraction of what needed done. Another great point of this, is an interview I heard about with Jeremy Camp, the Christian musician. In the interview he was asked if it was easier on his wife when he was out on tour, to this he replied that he hoped not. If this was so he was not doing his job well enough when he was home. As dads we need to be co-captains of our team with our wives. We all have shared responsibility, not in the it takes a village sense, but in the it takes a daddy kind of way. Our kids need and deserve to have a dad around, not just present, but truly present and attentive.

Also family, is not an obligation. I’m drawn back to the Tim Allen movie, Jungle 2 Jungle, and the lesson he gives his son about obligations and then later calls his son an obligation. How would you feel if your kids felt obligated to spend time with you? Don’t spend time with your kids and wife just because you have too, get your priorities inline and make sure that your family is the most important thing in your life.

Spend good quality time with your loved ones, don’t be absent in your presence. Your kids should feel comfortable coming to you, knowing that you are listening to them, playing hard with them, cleaning the house with your spouse.

So my challenge to all the other working dads out there: The remainder of January, turn off your cell at 6:30; have family dinner at the dinning room table without distractions at least 2 nights a week; make your kid pee their pants(not really, but play and laugh to the point that they might have to run to the bathroom.); get someone to watch the kids and take your wife out on a date just once before the end of the month; and at least 3 times a week pray and get into God’s word as a family.

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Try these things, and leave comments and let me know if it has strengthened your relationships. I also welcome any and all suggestions and criticisms.

Ramble on…….

WWYDIJWSBY – What Would You Do If Jesus Was Standing Beside You

I’m sure many of us remember the huge WWJD movement. I got to thinking recently about this and some songs from back when I was in Youth group. It’s easy to ask yourself what would Jesus do, the real question is what would you do if Jesus was standing beside you.

I admit I am guilty of this more often than I should I am a schizophrenic Christian. I am one way in church and another at my job. Taking is back to the 90’s again for a second, at the end of dcTalk’s Jesus Freak there is a part that states that “the single biggest cause of Atheism in the world is Christians, who acknowlege Jesus with their lips and deny him by their lifestyle. ”  What do the people that you work with or go to school with think of you.  Do they see you as a good Christian person, a hypocrit, or do they see you the same as the non-Christian co-worker sitting in the next cube.  We are called to be transformed from the world not be part of it.  Yes we live here, and deal with things every day, but we are called to handle things differently.

In thinking about this post, I have been thinking a lot about 2 Kirk Franklin songs; I Smile from his new album Hello Fear and The Last Jesus from The Fight of My Life.



These two songs say a lot and are good anthems to start out your day.  Listen to these songs and tell me that they don’t inspire you in some way to be a better Christian in your school or workplace.

3 yr old drawing
My 3 yr old's picture... 1 of many

Another way to look at it is; remember when you were a kid, it didn’t matter what the picture looked like, it was on that refridgerator.  It may be some scribbles but as parents we are proud of those scribbles.  What if we make everyday a day that God is proud to place up on his fridge.  Make everyday a day that all of your actions could be proudly displayed on your own fridge.

So live each day just like Jesus is standing over your back, we all act differently when when the boss in near our desk, even though God is with us at all time.