I'm a father of three boys (6,10, & 12). As you can imagine, there is plenty of activity in my house daily. Time flies by quickly, and I am often reminded I only have a limited time left with them living in my house before moving out. I really want to make my time with them count. There have been so many things I've learned from being a father, but I'll share a few that stand out the most to me in this season.
- Your kids and family matter more than your work. At the end of our lives, we won't wish we worked more. We would have hoped we spent more time with our children. Work will be there tomorrow, but the moments and the memories we have a chance to make may not be. Choose your kids over your work! If you don't have to bring work home, DON'T. I'm not ignoring that as fathers, we need to make money to care for our family's needs. However, if we're honest, most of our work at home can wait until the next day.
- Be present when you're at home. Our children don't want to and shouldn't have to compete for our attention. Social media and the ballgame on tv can wait until we've taken the time to listen to what's on the heart and minds of our children.
- Teach them to follow their heart. I tell my boys the most important thing they can learn in my house is to follow their hearts because that's where God leads us. They also know that I will be most proud of them not for their academic or sports ability but for their ability to know God and hear from Him. I trust that if they can learn that, they will marry the right person, know their calling, and be pleasing to their Heavenly Father. All the other stuff is good, but teaching our children to follow their hearts will help them far after I'm gone.
The last thing I would share is to realize you're not going to get it right every time or every day as a father. God is a patient father with us, so we should give ourselves some grace sometimes when we don't get it right. Stay committed to following your heart, and God will show you all you need for each season as a father.