What moves you? Or perhaps it's better to ask "what should you be moved by?" In the last couple of posts, I've shared two things that I need to be intentional about. Things that are just too important to leave to chance. Because by nature I am really cruisey; very happy just to let life roll on by. Sometimes the relaxed approach to life is really handy, the old "water off a duck's back" routine. But there are things in life where you need to grab the proverbial bull by the proverbial horns and ride it into the sunset (preferably a proverbial one). I've ridden a mechanical bull once, but that's another story...
The final thing I want to share with you, that I've learnt I need to be intentional with, is being a Dad. I think that one of the biggest challenges facing society is absentee fathers. Being involved in youth ministry for the last 10 years, and now pastoring, I have seen first hand the effects that not having a dad around has on the lives of young people. From emotional issues to abortion to substance abuse, children suffer when fathers ditch their responsibilities. And while I may not be able to change the world for all these kids out there, I do have a responsibility to ensure that I am there for Jonathan as he grows up over the coming years. I am responsible for teaching him how to be a man. I am responsible for teaching him how to treat a lady. I am responsible for teaching him how to live for Jesus. I am responsible for teaching him how to lead his household. And an absentee father doesn't just mean a father who has left the family behind. A father can be absent and still live under the same roof...
We try and have a playtime every afternoon. I come down to his level and play games with him. Right now our favourite game is called "Rar-Rar". It involves hats, running around like mad, wrestling and lots and lots of noisy yelling. So far we've only broken one hanging picture on the wall. Other times we go for a walk, or I get him to help me wash the car, or take the trash out. The point is we spend time together.
I'm also intentional with ensuring that he knows he has a Heavenly Father, and that He is never absent. Every night we read a Bible Story together, and then we kneel down and pray. I make sure He hears me praying as well, and sees me reading my Bible, so he knows that I take my walk with God seriously. One of the greatest memories I have of growing up is knowing that my parents prayed.
There are lots of other things I do. And these things will change as Jonathan gets older. I would love to hear from other fathers out there - what do you do to ensure you're not an absent dad? Please leave me a comment below!
I'm a Husband and a Daddy, a minister, a teacher and preacher, writer, youth leader, blogger, and servant of a great God.