My parents were divorced when I was in kindergarten. I haven’t spoken to my dad since I was in high school. I know he knew I went in the Marines but other than that I am not sure. He still owes my Mother and my late Grandparents lots of money in back child support, medical bills, etc. So it’s kind of obvious I have father issues. I had some replacements growing up with my Grandpa leading the way by far. I survived and although I am not perfect those around me know the places where I am lacking and help as needed. I think I am doing a pretty good job raising my son Josh with my wife and God’s help. A whole lot of other people have come along this journey because it is really true in the saying that it takes a village to raise a child.
This past Saturday night my son and I saw the movie ‘Courageous’ at First Evangelical Free Church with a friend, his kids, and hundreds of other men with their children. The movie is about how a father got a slap upside the face and realized he needed to be better than he was. It also focuses on how friends are important and that they step up when needed the most. I highly recommend this movie. I know many have cried while watching the movie and left ‘Courageous’ moved by it and have continued on with a follow up bible study. Hopefully after men’s fraternity finishes our current study at my church, this could be something we pick up for a while.
I am proud to say that I have been involved with my son’s activities since he was quite young. I wish I knew way back then what I know now so I could have been much more educated. I have learned to be supportive of not only Josh but other boys, and now try to only speak positive things so that they can work on them. There are still times that you need to be stern and tough but I’m learning to save those for when they really matter.
As a teenager, kids change. They want to be grown up at times and little kids at others. Last night, after playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Josh sat in my lap. These things would boggle the mind of an outsider but they make perfect sense to me. He appreciates me spending time with him and yet loves the reassurance only a father can bring a son.
Men, I challenge all of you to be involved with your kids. Get involved with the things they like. If you have a daughter who likes dancing, dance with her in the living room. If your son wants you to hear what you think is a stupid song, listen to it with him. Your kids probably make you happier than you know. I never thought I would have a kid who makes me listen to Hot Chelle Rae on Hits 1 on XM, nor did I think I would help coach a basketball team. Now I enjoy these things. Know your boundaries though. I can honestly say that my only role in my son’s science fair project was to check for errors and design issues.
Josh says we are good. He is a teenage boy, what more do you expect him to say. But I questioned him a little deeper and found out that we really are good, but there are always ways to be better. Please don’t be good enough, be courageous.