Tag Archives: dad

When You Just Don’t Know

We as Dads have a tremendous responsibility to be there for our kids as I mentioned in my previous post, “Where’s Daddy.”
When taken to the next step, it’s important to realize that we as Dads are also called to lead our children through life, equipping them with the values, skills, experiences, and attitudes necessary to navigate life until they come of age. Now, this is no easy task, but fortunately for us, we aren’t doing this alone. God’s word makes it crystal clear that He is ready, willing, and able to hand out wisdom all the time. It’s up to us to ask, the effort demanded on our part.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5 NLT)

How awesome is it, that our God isn’t up in heaven thinking about how stupid we are when we don’t know what to do? Instead he’s right there, with his hand outstretched over us ready to give us all that we need.

…for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (Matthew 6:8b NLT)

I can’t tell you how many times Angela and I have asked God for wisdom in certain situations, and the number of times that the required wisdom has come at just the right time.

Everything from the best discipline techniques for each child, how to be fair in certain situations, and especially for more patience on my part.

Be encouraged this week! We don’t have to have all the answers for life, just for the problems of the day, and God is more than willing to give us these when we are obedient by first asking, and then listening.

So go ahead, ask Him how to handle the situations you are in, His arm is not shortened by our uncertainty, and He will never belittle us for asking for His help.

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)

Have you ever had a time where God totally gave you an amazing answer for a problem you had? One that you never, ever would have thought of? Please share!

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Where’s Daddy

Father Throwing Baby-2

“Where’s Daddy” is a wonderful game Angela and I play with our kids when they are little.

I take cover behind a baby blanket and say, “Where’s Daddy?” I suddenly drop the blanket and to the baby’s delight I laugh and smile at them while they giggle with surprise. (Kids are SO fun!)
For our family, this is a joyful game of bonding, but for many others this question is a harsh reality that leaves a wake of invalidated and hurting kids.

Some kids never meet their Dad, some only see him as he grabs a cup of coffee on his way out the door in the morning, and others still question (years later) if it was something that they did to cause their Dad to desert the family when they were young.

Our kids crave our attention and they need our affection. We must acknowledge and comply with their yearnings on top of our nine to five.

To put it plainly, there is no easy path in the life of a Dad.

How many movies or shows have you seen where the kid is at their sporting event and scanning the bleachers for Dad? Kids need consistent affirmation and validation from their dads.

Dads are often portrayed as blundering idiots and buffoons in mainstream media. They tell their kids to act one way, while doing the exact opposite. We should all understand by now that this is a gross misconduct of the responsibility placed upon us as Dads.

Too many men are quick to make a deposit, and just as quick to leave when the reality sets in that it’s time to grow up and stop thinking about someone other than themselves.

If you still don’t believe me let’s take a look at the statistics.

Father-deprived children are:

72% of all teenage murderers.
60% of rapists.
70% of kids incarcerated.
twice as likely to quit school.
11 times more likely to be violent.
3 of 4 teen suicides.
80% of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals.
90% of runaways

I hope I’ve made my point clear, Dads have an unsurmountable amount of responsibility placed on their shoulders the second they make a contribution to a life. Every single child in the statistics above started from an egg and sperm, so where are all the Dads?

It’s no wonder God says that sex is confined only to the marriage bed. A child needs both a committed father and mother to train him/her in the way he/she should go. The statistics prove it.

Being a Dad is easily one of the hardest things I have done and continue to do, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is worth it. Much correction occurs, both in our children’s lives and mine, but I won’t stop. Ever.

I refuse to be one of these dads who continuously puts work, a hobby, a vehicle, a raise, his own ambitions, or his own ego before his family. God is my provider and sustainer, He will continue to make me complete in every good work to do His will.

Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. (Hebrews 13:20, 21 NLT)

What is one of the things you feel a Dad should always do? Maybe it was something your Dad did for you that made you feel loved, or maybe he didn’t… Please share your thoughts below.

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Sources: National Fatherhood Initiative (U.S.A.), US Bureau of Census (U.S.A.), FBI (U.S.A.)

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Pressing On!

I was out for a run the other night, and my mind started drawing parallels between running, and my life as a husband and father. (I’ve found that running is sometimes the best time for me to think…)

The way I see it, I can tell myself that I need to run to get into shape and leave it at that, or I can push myself harder each time while I race against my own personal best to log a faster time. I’m choosing the latter, I want to be faster, stronger, and healthier!

I see it quite similar in both marriage and fatherhood. I can wear the title of husband because of a paper document I signed and words I uttered, or the title of father because of my contribution to a life; or I can live out these awesome job descriptions with passion on a daily basis!

I’ve been pushing myself harder in both running and my family life lately, and what a difference it is making! I work hard to ensure that when I am home, that my family has my attention. That’s not to say I never pick up my iPad, or check Facebook throughout the day, but it does mean that I’m working hard to keep my family as top priority.

… but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. (Philippians 3:13b – 14 AMP)

I’m going to keep pressing on, I encourage you too as well. It’s not too late to dust off the running shoes, the wedding ring, or the baseball glove.

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You Can’t Argue With Experience

Church is designed to be a place where people of every age can have a radical, life-changing experience with God.

We as parents, need to continually look for and create these opportunities where our kids can be exposed to the powerful presence of God.
Our kids aren’t the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today! God’s word clearly indicates that we are to involve our kids in the work of the Lord.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Training involves learning to do something under the supervision of someone who has completed the tasks before. The verse doesn’t say we should only tell them, it says we should train them. Let’s remember that.

To me this means that when someone in my family is sick, I get everyone else (kids included) to lay hands on the sick one and we pray for healing in the name of Jesus. When we are in church, I expect my kids to be involved in worship (although I admit it’s tougher with 4 kids now.) Our kids see us working out our faith, and we involve them in it, knowing that this faith of ours will sooner than later become their faith as well. Angela has working on scripture memorization with Talina already, and she is just like a little sponge right now, she soaks it all in and retains so much of it. It’s actually unbelievable how she can memorize so much.

The latter part of this verse says that when our kids are old, they will not depart from the Way. This doesn’t come from continually cramming rules and commandments into our kid’s brains, this is nothing but the law. Instead, we must begin by by introducing them to the Savior of the World at a young age. From there they will learn to hear the Lord speaking to them, they will learn what conviction is,and their motives will be pure.

This way our kids won’t be solely motivated to behave because they fear punishment from Mom or Dad, instead they will be convicted in their hearts when they are doing something they know is wrong. Then they will be come focused on what they should do rather than focusing on not doing what they can’t do.

I have this burning desire within me to see my kids grow up to be so strong in the Lord, to be properly equipped, anointed, and commissioned to go and take on the giants of this world. I want my kids to be mature enough to be on their own in their faith far before they are ready to be on their own physically.

Who else is with me?

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Am I Approachable?

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I was thinking about it today, how approachable am I to my kids?

We had a standing rule in the house growing up that I could talk about anything with my parents, as long as it was done with respect.     I remember snickering inside when the rule was first introduced (before I realized what the second half of the rule actually meant.) However, now that I’m on the other end of the barrel, I’m seeing it quite differently.

I’m realizing that with this kind of approach-ability comes great vulnerability. My parents ultimately gave me an all access pass to their hearts, an access which I could have easily abused (and maybe did at times,) but I’m beginning to understand it more and more as my own kids get older.

When you show your kids you care about what they are thinking, they feel valued and important. I remember feeling safe coming to my parents with the issues I was facing in life. The conversations (and sometimes arguments) about driving habits, music/friend choices, and curfews were a little easier to handle when I fully understood that my parents were in my corner, not backing me into one.

This rule also made admitting mistakes and areas of failure to my parents much easier, I knew I would get disciplined for what I had done wrong, but I knew that there was love in the home for me regardless of what I had done.

Angela and I made the choice to instate a rule like this in our home as well, believing that this will open the door to many “tough” but honest and open discussions in the future.

Who else will join us in the challenge to be as approachable as humanely possible?

Anyone?

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Response Time

I’ve often thought about how God sees me responding to my kids, and I wonder if He’s ever tempted to model my response next time I call His name. Do I jump into action every time my kids need something, or do I eventually meander over once I’m done perusing my Facebook Timeline?

What if God matched my respective response next time I called on Him? How would that make me feel?

I find myself drawing parallels like this often.  Personally I’m pretty thankful He doesn’t model my behavior, instead, we are to model His. The Word says that His arm is not shortened (Isaiah 59.) This means that when we call Him to save us, he isn’t far away; he quickly gives us all the attention we need.

These kinds of parallels provoke me to ask myself questions like; how does it make my kids feel when I ignore them? How does it make my wife feel when I tune the crying baby out and expect her to deal with it? That being said, there are important things that we do every day that need to get done, and if we dropped what we were doing every time one of our kids called, nothing would get done. I’m talking about the things that interrupt what we “want” to do.

I truly believe that when we manage our time properly, it is possible to give our spouse and kids the time and attention they deserve.

We are all given 24 hours in a day; the difference in productivity is how we manage our time.

Do you agree with me? Leave a comment!

I think that was one of your kids calling, you’d better run and see. 😉

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From One Dad to Another

It is my honest belief that Mom’s should be given one night a week off, and that Dad should take the kids. Not a babysitter, not Grandma and Grandpa, not an Aunt or Uncle…

Dad.

First off, I want to clear something up. If a Dad is watching his kids, he is NOT baby-sitting; he is investing time into his kids. I’ve heard a few dads say that they are babysitting their own kids, and it irks me to no end. Let’s change it from an obligation to an opportunity.

Husbands, dads, your wife NEEDS a break! Whether she goes out for coffee with a book, or out with friends, or even shopping (preferably not for groceries.) On top of that, you need time to connect with your kids, and they need time to connect with you. You are your kid’s hero, the force to be reckoned with (just ask their rear-ends…) Where do you think the saying “my Dad could beat up your Dad” came from?

My wife Angela plays for the Lethbridge Syphony Orchestra, she has done so for over 6 years now and I am so proud of her. She made the choice when we found out that we were pregnant with Talina (our oldest) to take a break for a bit after we had Talina.

Once Talina was 2 months old however, Angela mentioned that she would like to go back. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t totally freaked out at the prospect of watching our brand new baby girl from 7:00PM-10:00PM every Monday evening all by myself. It was intimidating, I felt like Shrek on Shrek the Third… “They cry when they poop, and they poop when they cry…” But week by week I became a little more confident in my role as a parent and caregiver. I could do this. That was four short years ago.

We now have 4 awesome kids that I get to invest my time into. Talina just turned four, Jarel is two-and-a-half, Caleb is 14 months, and Brody is just over a week. I treasure and cherish my times with the kids, (especially Brody who is still in the NICU.) At home we build forts out of blanked covered furniture, make a colossal mess with watercolor paint sets at the kitchen table, snuggle up with a kids book, or play house-wide tackle football (which is not for the faint of heart.) When it’s nice out we go for walks, or to the park. Sometimes we just do a “movie-night”, complete with fancy drinks and popcorn.

I truly believe that when you take the time to invest into the relationships with each of your kids when they are young, that that gives you a rock solid foundation to build the rest of your relationship on. It’s become more apparent to me that kids being raised today need a strong support network to remain in the faith, and to really be who they are wired to be. Our culture does everything it can to make people feel inferior, but we need to show our kids that they need to be real, authentic, and exactly who God has designed them to be.

As dads, it’s vital that we realize sooner than later that the relationships/bridges that we build with our kids have limits as to what can be carried across them until they are firmly established. We can’t expect them to support the heavy discussions that we need to have with our kids if the bridge is still under construction. Ultimately, I am planning on having amazing relationships with my kids as teenagers because I am starting to build those foundations now.

I pray that you too will experience phenomenal relationships with your kids as a result of having a good foundation established early on in their lives.

Who’s up for the challenge of telling your wife that you want her to go out with her friends for the evening while you watch the kids?

Be prepared though, this is going to make your marriage even better!

Ready, set, go!

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Sending Mediocrity To Flight

I decided to start a blog after being challenged in the last few months to shake off the mediocre life that many of us grow accustomed to. I made the decision that I’m not ok with being a “good-enough” husband, a “decent” dad, or a “committed” Christian.

I want to be the best husband I can be, I want to fall in love with my wife over and over again. I want to play hard with my kids, I want to end the day with drool or spit-up on my shirt, and having changed at least a diaper or two. I want to be salt and light for Jesus, after all, I might be the only Bible my co-workers read. Selah (stop and think about it.)

Good enough. The words sound empty to me, like un-tapped potential lost forever. Every time I hear someone say it, or it slips out of my own mouth I wince. I wonder what I’m giving up by speaking those words, and in turn I wonder what others are missing out on. The problem is, “good enough” never is.

God gave us life, and that more abundantly, His Word clearly says so. We are hand-crafted, unique, personally designed human beings, with our own feelings, interests, circles of influence, gifts, abilities, and anointings. To sell ourselves short and live simple, mediocre, cookie cutter lives is an insult to our maker, the God of the Heavens.

Let’s choose to live a life of no regrets, starting now. What will you change first?

-NM

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