August 31, 2018

A call to all fathers

A few months ago I met a new friend —after speaking at a church—who approached me and asked if I would be interested in sharing my message with a big group of business men. At first I thought, “what would I have to offer a bunch of men?...” and then he proceeded to tell me about a statistic he keeps finding every where he looks. When asked what is most important to them...he finds most business men instantly say, “my family” but after more conversation he learns that most of these same men only spend about 1% of their time with their families. 

The past few days I have been reminded why that statistic is something I am passionate about changing. Fathers...we need YOU. This video and post are about a little car ride and a note in the night that helped me remember a message I can’t hold back any more. 

After a car ride with six thirteen year old girls I spent the next two days struggling with some hard truths. There are a lot of kids with the same story.

This message is to all Fathers. You are valuable and your kids need you.

They  need your strengths and your gifts. They need you to wrestle them and throw the ball to them. They need your time and your love.

They  need you to show them what a real man looks like. If we want our daughters to find a man that treats them right and honors their promises, then we have to show them what that kind of a man looks like.

Love their mothers. Be kind to the woman in their life.

Respect and honor your family. Not by working your life away or running from your problems, but by showing up every day.

With love and honor and virtue. Live your truths. Be the kind of man you want your daughter to want to marry someday.

Yesterday would have been Emmett's 38th birthday. If he were here I know there are many things he would say to all the fathers in his life. And I am sure as he watched his five children celebrate, for the 7th time, without him . . . Emmett wants all Father's to remember this:

We only get one chance to raise them. Don't waste your days making extra dollars or bigger muscles, use your days making extra memories and more smiles. 

Children deserve a father who teaches them how to use grace, we don't need to be perfect, just humble. Children deserve a father who is there for them. Chose choices that keep you safe and go home every night. Children deserve to see their parents as often as possible. Children deserve peace. Do all that you can to give them stability and consistency. 

Be their friend, but also their father. Teach them to love others over themselves. Show them how to find their purpose, tell them every day that being their dad is one of yours. 

Believe in your kids. Encourage them, tell them they are good. Use words to lift them up, but always use actions to help them believe your words. Don't spend your days wishing they were different, I promise you will wish this time back someday. 

Live for them now, so you don't regret the life you didn't get to give them. Don't let the darkness make you loose sight of what is important, no amount of money, or flattery, or praise from the world will make up for the broken hearts who needed you. 

Never put another person, including yourself, above your family. They deserve the best parts of you. Your family will always remember the person you are today, but the man you show up to be tomorrow, they will never forget. Don't die with regrets . . . that is hell. And to live with purpose, that is how you find heaven. 

God gave you this gift of fatherhood, make it count. Take control of what really is important to you, and be that man today. We have enough fatherless children, go home and tell them you love them. 

Now is your time, please, please don't wait. Before it is too late. Make it right. No matter how far you have gone away, turn back and start again. 

No regrets. Love them unconditionally, that is the greatest gift they need right now, not money. The most important gift you can give your children today . . . is YOU. 

Be the man you always wanted to be. I promise you won't regret it. 

What do you want your children's story to be? Today they are writing it. No matter where you have been, I urge you to figure out your crap and go show up as the one they deserve. I know it is possible!!! Fear will tell you it doesn't matter. But it does. Today we act for ourselves, instead of living out of fear. Fear is what takes a father away. Fear they need to make more money to be valuable. Fear they need to be perfect before they can go home and be the father their kids deserve. Fear they aren't enough, stops them from being anything.

To the many children who have felt abandoned, forgotten, or alone. This was not your fault. You are still lovable, and worthy of an amazing life. Forgive the one who didn't give you all you deserved and believe in the future. You didn't choose this story, and you can decide how it ends. Be everything for your children, and the people in your life, that they weren't for you. Turn it into good. You have the power to change their story.

The parts of our stories we can't control, are only a fraction of the ones we are meant to live. You can make a difference, in your story, and in the story of all the people you were born to love.


Renae Downey said...

Every man should read this! Well said.

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