How to up our game as Dads:

This makes me a dad! (image by Alisia Thompson)
This makes me a dad! (image by Alisia Hess Thompson)

Today, Sunday June 16, is (at least here in the USA) FATHER’S DAY. I’m all in favor of celebrating dads, but this year I’d like to step away from the “Give dad some affirmation and let him put his feet up for the day” sentimentalism and think instead about what we can do to ramp up our effectiveness as men and bring our A-game to both our families and the world.

You see I’m a firm believer that the best way to be happy and fulfilled as a man is to “LIVE LIKE WE MEAN IT.” And the “why?” behind living like we mean it is the amazing and affirming understanding that God most certainly meant it when we were created.

So today’s post explores just a handful of ideas as to how we might go about moving off the couch, out of our slump, and into significance.

  • First, “Gain the heart of a servant:” The simplest way to do this is to realize that it’s not about you. Fact is, it’s about your family, and about what you can do to serve them with humility and with respect. It has been said that we gain our life by giving it away. Nothing could be more true when it comes to gaining respect, and love. So you want to be a leader in your home? Then lead like Jesus, who was a servant leader and who washed the feet of those he loved.
  • Remember that you are your children’s “first teacher:” No matter how old they are, your children are constantly learning from you. We don’t choose to teach our children, and we can’t opt out; we just do. So the real question is  not “if” we are teaching but “what?” Once we understand that, and embrace our true role as fathers, then the trick is to equip ourselves, to work hard, and to do the job well.
  • Live this day (and then every day thereafter) as if you were created for a specific purpose: Dads who shine in terms of “dad-ness” have a sense of the big picture. The big picture happens to be the fact that we were created for a purpose. But it’s not enough to give intellectual assent to the idea; it’s critical that we discover our purpose and then – as creatively as possible – to live into that purpose.
  • Every hour you are awake, think of one more reason you are grateful: “Father’s Day” is a good occasion to start this discipline. And it is a discipline. We must think deliberately about what we are thankful for, and then we must allow that sense of gratitude to infiltrate and permeate our conscious and our subconscious selves.

So, “Dad’s Day Dad,” were you expecting some sweet and sentimental post today? Sorry! But don’t worry, over the next three weeks I’ve got a new grandchild to be born and our son’s wedding celebration to attend, I’ll be dishing out enough sentiment to swim in! But for today I want us to think differently about what it means to be dads…

…I want us to be challenged to “bring it” in terms of being a dad, and being a man. Believe me, we’ve all got some room to grow.

Peace and blessings -DEREK

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