This Sunday is Father’s Day.
When I consider my roll as a father, I end up having some restless nights. I think carefully about what a good father is/should be, and what I am. I come up short each time I think of my merits versus my faults. Dads can come up with 101 excuses for not “being there”, or being pre-occupied when they are there, and I have tended to justify my inadequacies with a long litany of defenses, but the truth is I have procrastinated or I was contending with some selfish pet projects or pastimes. Each day I could give more and be a better dad.
What I hear and see, mainly, is that little boys want me to listen to them. They want me to hear about their problems, their phantasies, their dreams, their imagination, their questions about how things work, their joys and their sorrows. I must listen to them more—-as if they were the only one on the face of the planet. That’s how my Father treats me.
Adults and dads might give it scant attention, but a tablet, iPhone or iPod is important to little boys today—-and I hate it. I don’t agree with their hunger for these things, but I admire Apple Computers for what they’ve been able to create and market! So I have to listen to them and try to understand that some things, like this, make them feel “a part” of their peers; as much as I might hate it, sometimes I have to surrender to things that are worth giving in to. We’re carefully examining tables, iPads and iPods now.
My sons’ fears about this virus, the summer and school in the fall is just as troubling to them as the “weightier worries” I have about the economy, our government, civil unrest and so forth. But again, I need to be careful to not dismiss their fears as unsubstantiated or silly. I need to let them know there is reason for all of us to be afraid ….were God not sovereign.
Sometimes I forget that this decade is the first decade for all three boys. They had never taken care of a pet until I gave each of them a pet; their first job is the one I taught them; they’ve never been taught to save or invest their money. When I ask them to be responsible they have no reference point. To them, I am speaking a new language!
But more than anything else, sons look to their fathers for encouragement, direction, teaching, provisions, protection, and at times forgiveness. My job never stops and they don’t seem to really believe that I need sleep, some “time away” or any sort of break from being a dad some days. But then, my heavenly Father never takes a break from being my Father—-thank goodness.