We come in all shapes and sizes.
Some of us came into the position of fatherhood at the mercy of well thought out plans, while others have come into it with no planning at all. Still others of us arrived both ways. (That’s me. Two planned and two came as a surprise to us.) But no matter how we showed up, we’re here.
We do well. We do poorly. We inspire. We undermine. We hope. We fight. We pray. We fail. We love.
Who Am I?
Our children’s identities are seeded in who WE are, it’s just the way it is. It also comes from what we teach them through our words, but even more so, our actions.
Our children believe they have value because they have our time, our heart and our love, and if they don’t have these things, they’ll eventually believe they have no value.
The Cancer of Relationships
If we are too busy to color with our daughters now, when will we find the time to help them overcome the heartache of another broken relationship with a man who only saw them as a tool to his own pleasure later?
If we are too busy to play catch with our sons now, when will we find the time to help them recover from an addiction that promised to drown their lack of self-worth later?
Busyness is the cancer of relationships, and true relationship with our children is the very foundation of their identity.
It is through relationship with us that they discover what we value and why. It is how they begin to create the framework for how they see the world, others and themselves.
Hold My Hand
Fatherhood isn’t about doing everything right. If it was, we would all be doomed to failure before we even started.
Fatherhood is about freeing up the time needed in order to cultivate relationships with our children so that we can walk through the wrongs and rights of this world hand in hand.
It is this connection, this turning of our hearts as fathers to our children, that offers them the freedom and security to grow into and explore their individual uniqueness. Because they are able to rest securely in our love, our children are able to risk, to dream, to discover things hidden deep inside them and nowhere else.
Value Beyond Compare
The rarity and irreplaceable value of these things cannot be overstated. They are priceless.
They go from living a life desperately trying to find their value, to living a life of contentment out of their intrinsic value that has been revealed to them by their fathers.
When our children see us put the world on pause in order to connect with them through their own unique passions and abilities they begin to believe that they have value.
When a father stops his world to reach into his child’s world, that child begins to believe that anything and everything is possible.
Creating Room for Adventure
Everyday you’ll have to fight to create room for your children. You’ll have to work as tirelessly to create a space for you and them to explore and discover as you do for your job, your hobbies and your spouse.
But as you create this space and these opportunities for you and them, you are calling them to an adventure like no other, and you’ll begin to discover the adventures of your youth, your dreams, and your hopes that you have long forgotten.
Children live in an economy of imagination and deal in the currency of curiosity. It is our duty as fathers to foster that imagination and curiosity through our calls to adventure.
This is the essence of play.
Writing the Future
The greatest payoff for all of this is that we aren’t just giving our children a foundation for today, we are giving them a future even better than our own. We are helping them to create a world in which they and our grandchildren will thrive.
We are truly and literally writing the future.
This is why your children need you to be present. This is why they need to know they have your time, your heart and your love.
This, Dad. Is why you are important.
To my own Dad. Who was, is and will always be important to me.
Joe Jestus – Founder of HappyDad.org
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