Everyone wants you to be a different kind of dad. Sure, the young kids want you energetic and involved in all the sports. And, those teenagers want to know you love them with words and texts and facebook, but don’t get too close when the friends are around. Then the adult kids want affirmation of career and life choices. Everyone wants a different kind of dad.
You have to find your own groove. Being a father is not about being everything to everyone. You have to be you. Sure, you need to adapt to the different styles of your children and adapt to their needs along the path of growing. But you need to be you. If you needs to change, then change the whole you.
Yesterday wasThanksgiving Day. That means a lot to me. During the mix of people coming over, I had to find time to say thank you to friends and fathers and children across states and nations. They all mean something to me. That is one of the ways I am a father. Some need encouragement. Some need to know I am here. Some responded as if I had given them a great gift. Some responded with requests for prayer as they shared deep pains of life. Some did not respond at all. But that is a way I am a dad.
Then kids and family came over. My wife had invited a few friends and others. Some came. Some did not. We will be together again tomorrow at my mom’s a few hundred miles away. It is expected of our home that we host holidays. That has become part of the family tradition. Other families depend on it, not just ours. Every dad needs traditions others can rely on. That is a way I am a father. I used to think tradition was expendable. It isn’t. Find the right ones and honor them. Let them be expressions of you. Traditions bind family.
The way you cut your hair, your after shave, the way you greet someone who enters your home, and more all define you as a father. You are being watched. You are being studied. Consistency and congruency mean a lot.
A friend wrote about her husband. Seems he had another life online and offline. For three years, he was single and looking on facebook. On Sunday he was a leader in the congregation. Yes, he is now an ex. He made that choice some years back, it just manifested recently. Men, get real. You need a positive and affirming and family including groove. You are a father. People count on you. This certainly is an unacceptable groove.
So, get your groove on. Be you. Be the man and father and dad you are called to be. Do it positive. Do it consistently. Do it. There is a lot of love to be had in your life when you do. You won’t have to look elsewhere. It will come looking for you at home.