I grew up in the 60’s and it was a great time to grow up. We played outside endlessly. My father worked afternoons and with school all day I didn’t see him a whole lot. There were six of us kids and my mom worked tirelessly to take care of us and always gave us (more…)
As a child, I believed my dad could fix any type of motor. Whether it was a lawn mower, dirt bike or automobile, my dad could fix it. That knack extended into to all things mechanical and I’ve spent most of my life wishing I could be half as gifted.
This is the true story of a dad who learned a hard lesson about how important his relationship to his children was. This father was a bright, innovative young EXECUTIVE who quickly climbed the corporate ladder of SUCCESS. He, along with his wife and two boys, lived in a nice suburban neighborhood just across from a beautiful park.
His children, one Saturday morning came bursting into his BEDROOM, “Dad let’s build a FORT in the park.” The father said, “I’m sorry sons. I can’t today, I’ve got some things I have to do at the OFFICE.” Both of the boys had a very disappointing look on their faces. “Next Saturday,” the father promised, “we’ll BUILD a FORT.”
The next Saturday they burst into his BEDROOM again. This time they’re not taking any chances—they come bringing boards, nails, and hammers. “Dad! Dad, wake up! You promised that you would help us build a FORT today in the park.” The young father said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot all about it!” Seeing the DISAPPOINTMENT on their faces again he says, “I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to get on the PHONE and in your hearing, I’m going to take next Saturday off. I just can’t get away today.” “Okay, Dad,” the boys said understandably. (KIDS ARE SO FORGIVING, AREN’T THEY?)
Next Saturday comes, and the father and two boys are sitting around the table eating breakfast. The boys are EXCITED, bouncing back and forth singing, “We’re going to built a FORT. Dad’s going to help us BUILD a FORT.” As they start out the DOOR, the phone rings. SILENCE! You can hear a pin drop. WHAT IS DAD GOING TO DO? Dad goes over and answers the phone. He doesn’t have to say anything to the boys. They can tell by his expression that it’s the BOSS.
“John, I need you to come in this morning. You are the only one who can close this DEAL.” He looks at his sons carrying their boards and hammers and thinks to himself, “Well, I guess it’s either a CHOICE between my JOB and my KIDS.” Reluctantly he says, “Listen boys, I’ve got to go into work. I’ve got something I need . . .”
“No, Dad! No! You promised.”
“I’ve got to go in just a little while. You start the FORT without me, and I’ll be back very soon to help you FINISH it.” The father got into his car and DROVE away.
The youngest son started across the street carrying his boards, hammer, and nails crying because his Dad BROKE his promise again. Blinded by the tears, he doesn’t see the oncoming CAR, walks out in front of it and is struck KILLING him instantly.
Three days later the young father is at the FUNERAL of his little boy. He looks out over the audience and sees his BOSS and all of his male COLLEAGUES. And he realizes the IRONY of it all; what the CHOICE he made COST him. He begins to CRY. He then stands and speaking through the TEARS he says for all to hear, “Men, if I can leave you one piece of ADVICE this morning, it will be this: BUILD THE FORT TODAY, FATHERS. PLEASE, BUILD THE FORT TODAY!”
I want to leave you with this… Our children need us, they thirst for us, they require that we be fathers. At the end of the day, can you say you did EVERYTHING you had to do to be the dad that your kids deserve and need? Can you honestly say you lived a sacrificial life that overflowed onto your children? Take a few minutes today to do something completely opposite of what is expected of you. Hug your children and tell them “Dad loves you”. Then help them BUILD THAT FORT!
How Best to Raise a Daughter
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Being a dad is awesome! But if you approach it as one more thing on your to do list, I can guarantee that it will not be very fun for you. Your job as a father is to nurture your children and to help them reach their fullest potential. Find out how. (more…)
My son and I both got stung by jellyfish on our vacation. As usual, I try to find the teaching behind every circumstance and this was a good opportunity to teach my son a spiritual truth! Did you know that a jellyfish can’t swim? It just floats along in the sea, catching food in the long thread-like “legs” that trail behind it. Since it can only float, the jellyfish has to go wherever the current takes it. And sometimes the current takes it where it doesn’t want to go! (more…)
Being a dad is awesome! But if you approach it as one more thing on your to do list, I can guarantee that it will not be very fun for you. There are so many benefits to being a dad.
Things that you and your child can look forward to on a daily basis. Learn to be a good dad by understanding how our father in heaven is a good dad to us. Then, your eagerness to be a good dad will fill your child with everything he needs. When you and your child know that you care about each other and love each other the way God designed it, your lives will be filled with unspeakable joy!
Your children will grow up and they will start to pull away from you. When that happens they will begin to be shaped by their friends and the culture around them. As they grow up and start slipping away from you, you will worry over there well-being. We can’t stop them, but we can definitely teach them to make the right choices. We can lay a foundation for them by teaching them God’s word and then making sure they feel loved so they don’t reach out for recognition in ways that can harm them. And when they come to those situations in life when they don’t know what to do, we will know for sure that they will feel confident in the fact that we have created a relationship that is open and inviting. In this way they will know to seek refuge and council with you and in the same way with their Heavenly Father.
There’s really nothing you can do about your own childhood. There’s no way to go back and undo what’s been done and there’s no way to take back what has been said or to live those things you didn’t live. Hollywood makes tons of money making movies that exploit this sentiment. But it’s fantasy, and the reality is that it cannot be done. Nevertheless, you are very fortunate! You can make sure that your children have the father that they deserves to have. You have been given a chance to do it differently. This time with your own children and you need to do it better, you need to do it right! So I challenge you to make a list of things that you want to do more with them. And then, start doing it.
Human tendency is to repeat the things that we have seen our own fathers do or say and to put our expectations over those things. I urge you not to repeat this mistake that your own father made. By being a better father to your child or children, you are also being blessed. A blessing that will heal the disappointments of your own childhood. As your life becomes more gratifying, as you become filled with love, you will find that a lifetime of resentment towards your own father will begin to appear less significant. You won’t need to be angry any longer because your life will feel fulfilled.
Stop wasting time and by all means stop blaming yourself for what you have or have not done with your children up until now. If you have not built a close relationship with your children, you will probably feel distant and helpless. The good news is that it is not too late to do it right. Your job as a father is to nurture your children and to help them reach their fullest potential. And in exchange, you will be presented with the opportunity to be a better person. Take advantage of that!
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