This year my kids are 15, 21 and 26. Like all dads out there I’ve done some things right and many things wrong. If you are a father of young children know that you have an immense opportunity and responsibility. Your leadership will have more to do with their development and future than you now know.
I’ve done a little experiment, and polled a number of men to get their answers to two questions in hopes that we might glean some wisdom from their experience. While I surveyed men from varying backgrounds and ages, it was very interesting to me how similar their answers were. My Dad used to say, “learn from other’s mistakes instead of making them all yourself.” Good advice! Hopefully we can all apply it after reading this.
The first question I asked was:
As a father, the one thing I would have done different when my children were young is _____________?
The three most common answers were:
- Model Christ to my children better
- Focus more on my relationship with my wife
- Plan for regular vacations and purposeful memory making occasions.
So, young dad’s out there… How are you doing in these areas? The #2 answer says a lot in the fact that the question was direction towards children but focusing on the relationship with your wife. Don’t miss this one! Today is a great day to start or restart.
The second question I asked was:
As a grown man the one thing I long/longed for my father to say is _______________?
The same three answers were repeated over and over. In fact these were the only answers given.
- I’m sorry
- I love you
- I’m proud of you
Fathers, listen up! Especially if you’re a dad of grown children. Chances are your children are longing to hear one or all of the above. You probably don’t have to think very long to know what that is. Men, do it now. Pick up the phone, go for a visit and bless your children with the words they long to hear.
He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction. Malachi 4:6