Words From My Father
With Father’s Day on the horizon, I thought it would be nice to sit down with my Dad for a little Q&A. He’s one of my heroes even though he would say the title is undeserved. You can read more about my Dad HERE. You can also watch or listen to the talk between my Dad and I on the podcast, but here is a written version of the highlights.
What is a favorite “Dad” memory?
After a baptism at church (he’s a Pastor), we would let you kids swim in the baptistry before it was drained!
What do you enjoy most about being a Dad?
Watching you kids grow up. You survived! We survived! You hear it all the time - you turn around and they are grown up. It's true. Where did the years go? To see you grow up, become a parent, and watching you raise your own kids is amazing.
The current generation of parents has a lot of technology in our hands and it’s easy to miss out. What are your thoughts as you observe us?
Well, can I share a funny story first? When you were little we had a phone attached to the wall that had a long cord. It would never fail that I would get a serious call and need you kids to be quiet. But you knew how far that cord would stretch and where the line was that would put you just outside my reach. The day came when we got a cordless phone and it rang. Sure enough, you kids started acting up in the safe zone. You all got the surprise of your life when I was able to come up behind you and let you know I was there!
We need to be intentional with technology. Anything can be used and abused, so we need to watch that technology doesn’t rob us of so much attention and time. It always amazes me to observe parents in public settings, at games and such, as they are glued to their phone and missing life and interaction. You have to watch it – not the phone, but how much time you put into it.
What are some things you wish you would have done differently?
Every parent has regrets in hindsight. For me, it was not always separating work from home. I worried about things that I didn’t really need to worry about. As a pastor, I was always involved in the lives other people and, even though it’s an honor, it took so much time and energy. It constantly pulled me away and I found it hard to separate “work” from home.
My biggest regret, though, was discipline in the home. It takes so much energy and time to do it right. Don’t take the easy way out, but take the time to figure out what is best for each individual child. Don’t discipline out of anger or embarrassment. A parent needs so much wisdom to know how to get to the heart. I was recently involved in coach training for an archery program. They teach how to correct in that setting: Start with a positive, then address the thing we can correct and make better, and then show how we can practice. We can do the same as parents. Build your children up. And remember, so much of this comes with time as you learn and grow as a parent. Pray for wisdom in how to respond when your children need instruction and correction.
We live in a society that doesn’t appreciate the role of men and fathers. What would you say to men who are reading?
The role of men is absolutely vital. Give your kids heroes. Keep good books, videos, and people worthy of looking up to in front of your kids. Titus 2 talks about doing life together. Have mentors in your life that are finishing the course well. Learn from them. Men, know your roles. There’s nothing God values more than a soul and He designed families. He gave you a job that touches souls and you need to put people around you that can help. In Deuteronomy 5, we learn that your influence as a father is so influential that you can impact generations. For those that love Christ, that influence can shape generations for a thousand generations. The road is hard, but society is being shaped by what men are doing in the life of others.
Serious question: Give us one of your favorite Dad jokes.
“When does a dad joke become a dad joke?” When it becomes apparent.