Another moment in time when we stop to recognize men for being fathers. A day that says “thanks dad” by grilling meat without green stuff, buying dad a tie or mug, and letting him sneak in a nap without anyone getting on his case for being lazy.
Yet I know there are dads out there, like me, that would love to have looked back on the last year and done a little better as a dad. We can all think of areas we wish we could have done a little bit more or done a whole lot less when raising our kids.
Sure this can be a monotonous exercise bordering on insanity, but here are
5 things I believe we can do as dads this year to enjoy our next Father’s Day.
1. Realign Your Priorities
This year let’s start by realigning our priorities. Maybe this year we can say “no” overtime and “yes” to playtime with our kids so we won’t look back with regret. Let’s reorganize the “org chart” of our life and strive to put God first, wife second, kids third, and everything else after that. If we reorganize now we will have less to regret later. Work tasks can be completed, lawns can still be mowed, and the gym will always be there but our kids keep growing and marching forward with or without us.
2. Love Your Kids’ Mother
If you want to be a better father start by being a better husband. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a strong marriage to observe and emulate. Now, I understand there are lots of single parents out there who are both mom and dad at times. I realize you have a tremendous uphill climb that I pray God strengthens you through. However there are plenty of dads out there who are married and they need to step up and love their wives. The pity party is over, it’s time for action. Rise up off the couch, get out of bed, come home on time, quit a softball league or 6, and invest time and energy into your family. That’s what they care about maybe, we should too.
3. Put Your Kids To Bed
There are so many ways we can interact with our kids. But I know for me, few can compare with bedtime. Sure it can be crazy, yes kids stall to squeeze in a few more seconds of “freedom”, and I too want to sit on the couch just as much as the next guy, but something magical happens when my kids snuggle in for bed. It’s as if they are the most open to talk, let their guard down, and listen. Take this time to talk with your kids about their hopes, fears, and future before they drift off to dream about it anyway. But don’t stop there. Pray with them too and let them know that both of their dads love them very much. The lower case “d” dad and the big “D” dad.
4. Lead Your Family To Church
Nearly every dad I’ve come across wants their children and family to know about God. I’m willing to bet 98% of the guys I talk to want that, but less than 5% of that group are willing to be the leader in making it reality. They will either pack up the wife and kids and send them to get their “God fill-up” or they will treat God like a fad diet and yo-yo their spiritual life until they just quit altogether. Don’t make your wife be the spiritual initiator in the family this year. You set the pace for the family and make going to church is as important as watching the football game. After all, what good will it do if your kids know the Bears starting line-up by memory, but have no idea who God is when it’s all said and done?
5. Read Your Bible
I guarantee every morning my kids will see two things when they get to the kitchen. A cup of coffee on the counter and my Bible right next to it. I pray that when my kids grow up they remember that. But even if they don’t, I will still have a cup of coffee and my Bible every morning. Why? Because I read my Bible to further my relationship with God not to look cool to my kids. However, as I read my Bible I can’t help but see how God wants me to be a better father, husband, and man. The bottom line is that if I’m in the Word I’m less likely to be in the World which means I’m hard at Work.
So get to work men! There’s a better Father’s Day in your future if you do.