The Honor of Being a Father

Being a father is an honor. In noun form, honor means high respect, esteem and a privilege. As a verb, it means to regard with great respect, fulfill an obligation, keep an agreement. We can take all of these definitions and wrap them together to see that being a father should involve great respect by the man for this office; knowing that there is an agreement to be kept; understanding there are obligations to be fulfilled.

Regard your position as a father as an honor. It does not mean that you have to reach a certain level of education. It does not mean that you need to do what everyone thinks you should do. It does not mean that your children should bow to you.

It does, however, mean that you need to be honorable, respectful and trustworthy. It means that you need to think ahead before you act on your impulses. It does mean that you may not get what you want because your family has needs. It does mean that you will grow and mature if you seek to make good decisions (and you should seek this).

This generation that we live in (the selfie generation) will not advance your maturity. It will advance your selfishness and immaturity. Strive to be in contact with those around you. Seek to know those who should be close to you. Encourage them to know you and seek to know them.

Years ago, it was kinda fun to complete questionnaires, trade them and see what you didn’t know about others. Every now and then, you see them on Facebook as a copy and paste thing but you usually see someone post and say “Come on, somebody else play this with me” when actually, they just want someone read theirs. People just do not realize that the relationship world is opposite of what it seems. You need to give to get, not take, take, take. No one wants to be around a taker for very long.

Zig Ziglar put it this way. “You can get what you want, if you help enough people get what they want”. Most people relate what he is saying to sales, after all, he was a famous salesman. The odd thing is that this applies to relationships too.

It takes seeking interest in a multitude of people before anyone seeks genuine interest in you. It takes helping a multitude of people before anyone seeks to genuinely help you. It takes giving a multitude before anyone seeks to give to you…before anyone seeks to. Do you see those words? Let them sink in. Before anyone seeks to.

Why did the Bible say that it was better to give than to receive? Because giving works on your heart. Taking requires no effort. To give often requires sacrifice.

So why did I go there? True fatherhood requires sacrifice. Giving and giving and giving and giving without seeing return for years…and a giver is respected, esteemed and privileged…honored. Be that father.

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Becoming a Father of Men

This is a sobering time; a time that brings many feelings to the surface.  First, it is my 2nd son’s 21st birthday.  Second, it is the eve of my youngest son’s 18th birthday.  That being said, it would not be complete without mentioning my oldest son’s 23rd birthday just 8 days ago.  As you can see, March has always been a special month in our family.  It always will be.

I used to joke with everyone that “my boys’ birthdays are March 12th, 20th and 21st.  My birthday is in April and we are usually broke by then”.  We managed (sometimes with a lot of help) to get through Christmas and a 2 month reprieve before a round of birthdays every year though, and still they found a way to celebrate mine too…but they were children, learning the ways to honor each other.  We didn’t always teach it well.  We weren’t always the best example.  We weren’t always together, but we still found a way to do it.

Today, though, marks a special time for me though.  Today is the last day that I am a father of children.  For tomorrow, I will be a father of men.

Now I know that age is not a sign of maturity; whether mental, physical or spiritual.  Heck, I have met 40 year old “adults” that were not as mature as my boys, but it is a milestone of time.  This milestone signifies how long they have endured this life…and each of them have endured much.  This enduring is what many have talked, addressed and sung about for ages.  This enduring is worth celebrating for our whole family.

For as we enter this new time, with little brother “pulling up the caboose”, I want each of you to hear these things from me:

  1. I am proud of you.
  2. I do not define you by your failures. Thank you for not defining me by mine all these years.
  3. You have a lot of life ahead of you therefore aim well. If you fail, at least you will fail while learning in the right direction.
  4. Despite what others may say, you will always be loved by your mom and me. Yes, feelings can sometimes make it seem different, but the principle stands that we love you unconditionally.
  5. You are all men now. There is no going backwards, only forwards…go forth boldly.

I feel that it is only fitting that this ends with this passage of scripture.  It came at a time when Paul was describing Love in 1 Corinthians 13…and quite appropriately, he spoke of maturing…

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”

While I will miss being a father of children, I look forward to this new adventure; this adventure as a father of men.

 

The Habit of Procrastination

I am a bundle of feelings right now. I have not written in this blog for quite some time. My interests and desires have been elsewhere. Work. The worries of life. Self. Many of us either have been there or are there now.

But this has helped me to examine the motive for our actions if we have this habit. This habit, that I speak of can be explained like this. You have strayed away from something you know you need to do. You are procrastinating from doing it because you do not want the feeling of guilt about inaction. It is easier to not do it and say that you just stopped rather than deal with that feeling when you do start.

You can actually turn it backwards and look at quitting a habit or addiction like smoking (some of us can talk about this because we have faced it). Quitting smoking involves changing a character trait or modifying it. It is easier sometimes to start up again, say “I failed” and not have the struggle than to keep the struggle going. We get relief from starting up again. Yes, relief. Relief from the battle. Relief from everyone asking about our struggle. Relief from wondering what we actually can do with our hands since we are not smoking. It is easier than changing ourselves.pablo (1)

Turning it back around, though, what about things we are supposed to do, should do or are “expected” to do.

Some are simple.

Some are hard.

Simple things like writing in the blog. You know that you feel more complete and whole when you do. It allows you to “empty” your soul or rant or whatever but it is beneficial to you. If you do not type that much normally, it helps to improve this skill at least. But it takes the effort to do so.

Hard things like saying goodbye to a friend or loved one, whether they have died or just gone away for a while. Having to suffer the emotion, knowing that tears may be involved, we shy away because it is easier. It is easier because we can deal with others temporarily thinking about why we didn’t say goodbye or visit the surviving family rather than suffering through personal heartache and transparency. We would rather choose the road that is easy; the freeway; the road more traveled, so to speak.

Well, then there is this saying that I put together. It goes like this.

Restriction: I can’t do it
Procrastination: I’ll get around to it
Inspiration: I’ll do it when I feel like it
Perspiration: I will do it no matter what

Some people say “Man Up!” (or “Woman Up!”). Some say “Get some balls already!”. I say “The only way to get it done is to figure out how to do it and get after it!”. Why? Because the habit of procrastination kills. A part of you dies every time you procrastinate. I have heard so many stories of people who died shortly after retiring because they didn’t plan on what to do, had nothing to do and lost purpose. When we procrastinate, we lose purpose. In fact, it carves away at our very lives. It provides us a way to lose our lives and purpose rather than enrich them.

In previous writings, we have looked at failure and the circumstances we cannot change; things that happened that are in the past or did not happen because of something we did. Those are things that cannot change.

This is something we can. We can change the way we do things. We have the ability to change how we do things. You may say “I don’t know how”. Find out how. Try something different. If you find yourself doing something that keeps you away from the purpose that you desire to do, look at what you did that led you to doing that (this is common for computer troubleshooters). Examine what you did previous to the action that happened and do something different. Do something that you see leading yourself towards a better result.

You can change the way you do things…but you can’t and won’t, if you don’t.

Revenge

Ahh…the joys of being a parent…and grown-up

The Dad Letters

Sons,

I don’t know if you’ll have Twitter when you’re older, so I wanted to make sure I captured this story that I therapeutically put out into Internetland earlier this evening.

Living with people is weird. I love your mother, and I love all of you, and I know this will be funny when I wake up in the morning, but right now I still have a bit of steam coming from the ears.

Enjoy.

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