One day as I climbed up onto my not so popular tread mill, I began my long journey to nowhere. I started to think of things that needed to be done around the house and instantly couldn’t wait to be done with my long dead end walk. I thought of something I needed my oldest son to do. I think it was to replace an item to its proper location, maybe a game or a toy. I called out to him and his response caught my attention. My four year old son sprang from where he was and ran to my presence and with wide eyed expectancy he said ”Yes Dad”. Wow I thought how did he come to such an attitude of expectancy from me. It caused me to think of my relationship with him. If I had always called to him and told him to pick up a toy or clean up his mess there is no way he would run to my side and ask “Yes Dad”? Only if I had called to him and in his response to me he found an exciting adventure or an outing where he experienced something new, would he respond to me in this way. As I reviewed the past four years I remembered taking him on adventures I knew would be new to him and they would create memories for him. Those times had caused him to know if he gets to do something with Dad, chances are it will be an absolute thrill. I remember times when my loving wife would be outside with the children as I would be finishing work on a project. I would secretly look outside and see that they were quietly and uneventfully playing. I would sneak out and run towards them and before they knew I was coming I would let out a big bear roar and as they would turn with fear in their eyes to see what in the world was coming at them I would sweep them off their feet and lift them high in the air. They quickly realized it was their dad and oh what an element of excitement to have their dad out there with them. Mom is always relieved to see me coming to be with them too as she spends all of her time with them every day. She is a stay home mom who home schools all three of our children so to have a little break from her full time responsibility is nice for her.
Being a constant active part of my children’s lives I know I have their hearts and times such as when my son came running to me in response to me calling out his name caused me to think of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. When He calls out to us does He simply have to whisper our name to get our attention or does He have to raise His voice? When we respond to Him, is our response a dreaded “what is it now?” or “Oh No what have I done now?” How about a relationship with our Father in Heaven that would cause us to respond with a “Yes Dad?” Knowing that when He calls there is something on the horizon that is far beyond what we could ever imagine. Oh what excitement in knowing the Creator of the universe has just called to me. Run to Him with wide eyed expectancy.
A note to fathers: If you feel you don’t have your child’s heart there is still hope. God wants your relationship with your wife and children to be healthy. If you are willing to put forth your own effort, I promise He is willing to help. He has designed the natural family (Husband, Wife and children). Fathers we must put aside our selfish desires and put our families first. The time will come when the house is quiet again and the sound of feet running through the house will be no more. Your children will be grown and out on their own before you know it. When this happens then you can go back to doing some of the things you and your wife enjoy that you couldn’t do with children. Until then you only have one chance of raising your children to be a righteous generation. You are setting the foundation for who they will be when they become adults. Invest in them so you can send them out into this world with confidence, knowing they will choose to seek after righteousness on their own. Now is the time to pour your heart and life into them. Find common goals for the whole family. Seek activities the whole family can partake in together. Keep the family united, put off your selfish desires that would take you away to be alone or with buddies. Ex: I love fishing in the river and off shore, I love diving, surfing, mountain biking, hiking. But for now as my children range from 2 to 14 I can not do these things without being away from them. So I set these activities aside for now because I truly would rather be with them. I only have them as moldable clay for a short time and then the clay sets to its form it will hold the rest of its life. You see as a father you have such an awesome opportunity to raise a new generation. Don’t take it lightly but have fun at it at the same time.
Suggested Reading for this topic:
- Outdoor Insights by Steve Chapman “What a Dad Can Teach a Child in God’s Great Outdoors.”
- The Hands-On Dad by Rick Boyer
- Jumping Ship by Michael Pearl “What to do so your children don’t jump ship to the world when they get older.”
Two of these can be found on http://www.wilsonfamilyministries.com/