Do It Right, Dad!

Nor' east Thinkin'

Dad, what you plant, you also harvest. So do your 'fathering' right!

Published on: June 21, 2010

 Over Father’s Day weekend, I had the privilege of seeing the delightful aspects of being a father . . . and seeing the devastating after-effects of children disillusioned by lesser father role models.

Being a successful father is even more challenging than being a successful farmer. When you fail, the emotional scars run much deeper in all the victims – the children and the father. I’ll give you two examples:

One is my neighbor whose father walked out on his family when my friend was a small boy. So “Ron” grew up without a father. Now, as an aging retiree, his father wants back into his son’s life. As you might imagine, Ron wants absolutely nothing to do with him – to put it mildly.

At our Christian Farmers Outreach picnic, a middle-aged man came to me seeking prayer. Several years ago, he and his wife were divorced. Their adult children went separate ways, but breaking off all contact with him – for whatever reason. A few weeks ago, a son called him to get his mailing address. And just before Father’s Day, that son sent him a card.

Just talking about it made this man tremble and cry. What he had lost had now become precious!

Human nature being what it is, not every mistake will be forgiven – no matter how genuine, contrite and heart-felt it might be. So, please, be a quick learner!

Learn from others mistakes, not your own!

Fathers are often slow learners. I know. There are many things I would do differently today. And I’m blessed to have a second-chance with my grandchildren. So . . .

  • Dads, treasure those moments when those little feet step on top of your shoes and those little arms hug your legs. Return those hugs or even dance!
  • Seize the moments and imprint them on your memory of walking the fields and sharing nature’s beauty with your young ones. Teach them to revere the creation and appreciate each other by appreciating them.
  • Do not miss moments to lay a gentle father’s stroking hand on their shoulders and heads, affirming your love for them just as they are – even if they’re noisy and rambunctious. After all, they were made in your image and with your help will grow into successful models for their own children.

And if you’ve made mistakes, don’t assume it’s too late to start being a successful father. Every father makes mistakes. Good ones resolve to not repeat them.

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