This post is meant for dad’s. That being said, I believe any parent/grandparent could benefit from this. I am just simply writing this with dad’s in mind.
Dad’s, you are so important. You are the one that shapes what your son’s think manhood looks like. You are the ones that set the standard for how women should be honored and treated for your daughters. You are the one that God has laid the responsibility on to train your children in His ways (Deut 6:6-9, Eph 6:4, Joshua 4:21).
My life is upside down at the moment. One minute I am enjoying watching a movie with my wife, the next I find it hard to breathe because my dad was the one who took me to see that movie when it first came out to theaters. One minute i’m enjoying roasting hot dogs over the fire pit with my kids, then I begin to cry as I think about all the times Dad patiently taught me how to build a fire on our camping trips. One minute i’m laughing at a joke, the next I feel like i’ve been punched in the stomach with the reality that I can’t hear my dad laugh anymore. His pure, unbridled laughter that comes from a man with tremendous Joy from his God and his family, is something I will always want to hear, “one more time.”
I miss my daddy. I miss my friend.
I am forever grateful for all of the fond memories that I have of him. I will cherish them as long as I live. Something else that I will always treasure is a letter that my dad wrote to me when I was just a baby. It is a treasure. This made me think about myself as a father. This made me think about the impact that I want to make on my children and their futures.
I want to challenge every dad to buy a notebook of sorts (The one i’m using for my son is pictured above) for each of their children. Start a journal for your children to read one day. In my journals that I have purchased for my kids I date each entry then write short letters to them. Sometimes there is an event that happens in our lives (such as the loss of my father) that I want to talk to them about, so I write it down. Sometimes there is a powerful scripture that I want to share with them along with an application, I write it down. Sometimes they make me laugh uncontrollably by their silliness, I write it down.
I plan to give my children their journals as a surprise when they are “old enough”to appreciate it and care for it. I want them to have something from me that they can cherish as much as I cherish the letter from my father.
Dad’s, we can do this. It really isn’t hard. One or two entries a week is not much to ask. I now realize that something like this could mean more to our children one day than it will ever mean to us.
If your kids are already grown, start a journal anyway. Don’t excuse yourself because your kids are “too big now.” That’s nonsense. They will enjoy the wisdom that you have at this stage in your life for as long as they live. Do it for your children. Do it for their hearts.
I am reminded of Joshua chapter 4 after Israel crossed the Jordan river with God’s help. They were commanded to collect the stones and build a tower. In verse 21 the directive was to father’s. When children ask their father’s what the stones mean, the father’s would explain to them about how God is faithful. Dad’s wouldn’t it be great if you kept a written log for your children reminding them, teaching them, and showing them of God’s faithfulness to them and their family even from the time that they were too young to remember it?
Do it for your children. Do it for you. I love you all.