What We Heard:
Being a dad is job number one for me. We work hard to learn and excel in our workplace / vocation but what about our primary roles. Part of our passion for fatherhood must be derived from God’s call on our life to serve Him by loving and leading our kids well. The other part of that passion is sheer delight. Derek’s dad always delighted in Derek and that’s a valuable lesson Derek employs in his own family. He just enjoys his kids. God has given him that loving desire to enjoy them.
What It Means:
For Derek specifically, as a single dad, he is naturally involved in things that his married dad of daughter friends may not be. Girls’s clothes, girl’s hair, and even girl’s adolescent products. Married dads and joint custody dads of daughters would do well not to default all the “girl” stuff to mom but to intentionally be involved. Creating balance is a challenge for anyone and everyone in every circumstance. Balancing career and kids can be a conflict. For Derek, key words are focus and preparation. In the office: be prepared, focus, and work hard. In parenting: be prepared to focus and work hard. An additional key to being a great dad is discovery. Find things you can do with them that they enjoy doing with you. Giving your best at work and left overs at home isn’t a Christ-centered option. Intentionality is the opposite of accidental. It doesn’t come naturally. If you want to be an intentional parent…you have to make the effort to be intentional.
What We Do Next:
- Let values dictate priorities. In terms of family, that may mean missing a career opportunity to protect time with kids and fulfill responsibilities at home.
- Idea: Have a just for fun party. Plan it with your kids start to finish and let them host a gathering just for fun. If it’s not a party, do something outside of the obligatory that’s just extra effort. Married dads, lead out in these. Don’t let all the fun, creative, activities in the family be mom’s job. At one point, you pursued your wife. Pursue your kids. You are called to lead in your home. That isn’t limited to just the big leadership decisions. Even daily schedules, activities, and ideas can benefit from your intentional leadership.
- Create blessings. Derek does lunchbox notes with words and drawings. Just extra blessings for the kids to enjoy. Those blessings create life-long deposits in the love-banks of your kids.
- Make milestones matter in your home. Turning 13 or 16 or 18 are important. Be a dad who celebrates big decisions like salvation and baptism.
- Consider the values and characteristics you want to be present in your kids when they are older and leave home. Write down this vision. These are the legacy you desire to leave and the intentional deposits you must make along the way. Plan, calendar, and strategize for these specific investments.
MLN Book Recommendation:
Straight Talk to Men: Timeless Principles for Leading Your Family by Dr. James Dobson
Book link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1414391315/ref=rdr_ext_tmb