Tonight as I sit back and reflect on Father’s Day, I’m thankful. Never did I think I would be blessed enough to be the father to five children. Each year I realize more and more the role I get to play in their lives and the impact I am able to make during these crucial years. I didn’t always realize this though, it took me years to figure it out.
Two years ago I lost my father to Parkinson’s disease, a disease that quite honestly took his life many years before that. A disease that affected our relationship in ways that he couldn’t help. He was unable to walk, talk, or express his feelings. I could see it in his eyes, but he was helpless. He wanted to share in the moment with me, but couldn't. As I began to have children of my own, I remember wishing that he could hold, play, and speak to them. I so badly wanted them to know the father that I knew in my years of growing up, but they would never see that. My own wife, didn’t even really know who my father was, and that hurt.
Looking back, I realize my father (and the disease that changed him) impacted me in ways he probably never knew. As my children have gotten older, I have not wanted to miss a moment. I have not taken for granted the simple family time at home, the random hugs, and the opportunities to cheer them on. My Dad would have given anything to have these moments again. If I could pick one word to describe that kind of Dad I want to be, it would be, intentional.
If my Dad could go back and do one thing, I think he would be more intentional. It’s not that he wasn’t intentional at all, but I think if he could do it all over again, he would do it more. I have learned that being a dad is a role that no one else can fill. I have an opportunity to be a dad to my children, it a choice. A choice to look them in the eye, a choice to teach and give direction, a choice to speak words of love, a choice to build up their confidence, but mostly a choice to love them in a way to that no one can.
There are many things that pull for my attention and this Father’s Day I’m making the commitment in the coming year to be intentional with each of my kids and be present in every moment. They are moments I will never get back, and moments that I want my kids to remember forever. I don’t ever want to regret not being their Dad when they needed me the most.
Happy Father’s Day to all Dads! Together may we become more intentional fathers and lead our families by His grace.
Hi, I'm Kansas! I wish we could be doing this face to face over coffee. Maybe someday, till then this will have to do!