I am to LEAD my family
I believe that as a father, God has asked me to lead my family. This task seems very overwhelming at times, because I have enough trouble leading my own life. I simply do not have the strength to lead my family as I am supposed to on my own. I think the best way I can lead them, however, is by getting on my knees and asking God for the wisdom and strength to lead them as he wants me to. He promises to provide if I will just humble myself and do it and believe that he will provide.
They want ME more than WHAT I CAN GIVE them.
I have heard this said often, but really started to think about it more after the movie. Yes, my kids want things. We all want things. But, deep down, they want me to spend time with them way more than any material things that I can give them. And when I say they want ME there, I mean they want all of me. I can sit in the same room as them, but actually be a 100 other places in my mind. When I get a chance to spend time with my kids, I need to be there not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. I need to shut my mind out to all other distractions and focus on our time together. It makes all the difference in the world. Related to this, I was challenged from the movie to spend time with them doing what they want to do, not just what I want to do. Yes, I would absolutely love to play football with Devan, but if he would rather play with his Toy Story characters, then so be it. Me taking interest in the things that interest my kids shows them that they are loved and appreciated for who they are.
Actions speak louder than words.
They are watching. I can tell them the right things to do all day long every day, but until I start walking my talk, then they are not going to pay attention. I need to focus on my actions and make sure that I am setting a good example for them in all that I do.
Be a Mentor
There are literally thousands of kids out there in our communities who do not have a father-figure present in their lives. If you do not have chidren, your children are grown or you just have some extra time, then invest in the lives of these kids. You will never know from this side of Heaven the difference you could make in their lives. There are so many opportunities out there including mentoring and coaching.
For me this one can be difficult. Every kid is different and unfortunately there is not an Owner's Manual in the placenta when they are born. Also, as I look over my life, I have met many people who are not happy today because they were spoiled as children. On the other side of the coin, I have met just as many people in recovery meetings who have broken spirits because they were physically or verbally abused as children and that still affects them 20 years later. But, the GOOD NEWS again is that God will help me in this area if I just ask for direction and guidance and learn what he has to say about discipline in the Bible.
Like I mentioned earlier, this was a great movie and it really made me evaluate my fatherhood. I once heard it said that many, if not most, fathers would be willing to DIE for their children. The real question we each need to ask ourselves as Fathers is "Are we willing to live unselfishly and set a good example day in and day out for our kids"? If I really think about it, that might be tougher than the former.