Throughout life's challenges—and especially when something seems too much to handle—think of your love for your kids and your commitment to them.
What does being a father mean to you? How are you different or better because you’re a dad?
Maybe you’ve gradually become comfortable with the idea that making sacrifices is part of fatherhood; you’re giving up some things you enjoy because duty calls. You’re reigning in some career ambitions, hobbies or other pursuits because you’re a dad. Only you’re finding that these really aren’t sacrifices, but simply ways you’re living out your priorities.
For some, a life-threatening situation wakes you up to what’s most important in life, or what you’ve been taking for granted.
Or maybe you’ve been doing some reflecting about the good things you learned from your dad—or even the things you learned because of your dad’s influence. Now you want to figure out ways to pass those values and lessons on to your children.
A few years back, a study concluded that fathers are significantly more likely to be outward-focused and service-oriented compared to men who are not fathers. Fatherhood changes us; it helps to make us more selfless and empathetic, and more responsive to the needs of others in our neighborhoods and communities. (This is particularly true for highly involved fathers.)
Those are a few factors that might help some dads answer the question, but I’m also interested in how you would respond—what being a dad means to you.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a committed dad. Let that role help define you more and more. Through the challenges of life—and especially when something seems too much to handle or determined to go against you—think of your kids, your love for them and your commitment to them. Being a dad gives great meaning and purpose to your life; it shouldn't be your only purpose, but it’s a great one to have near the top of your list.
Action Points for Dads on the Journey:
- Set aside time every day to help your child develop a skill, whether you’re rolling a ball back and forth with your infant or helping your older child practice a sport or finish his homework.
- Plan to spend a solid hour this next week with each of your children, one on one. Tell each one, “Let’s do something together. You choose.”
- Arrange to bring pizza during your child’s lunchtime at school. (Bring enough for a few friends too.) Or volunteer to help with the Valentine’s party in your child’s class.
Written by Carey Casey