Since my last post on this I’ve gotten to thinking – maybe this whole issue is deeper than just wanting and needing. What if this is more foundational? I feel a need to dig in for a while in my own thoughts on this.
The reason I think this is so important is because I deeply believe that a dad’s life is always forming the future. We are always teaching. You and I. Like it or not we are always role models. If we covet, we pass that along. If we show honor to people around us, that becomes a part of our legacy. Our ripples becomes the waves that push generations in the direction of our hearts. And I’m not talking about coveting in the sense of that XBox you just had to buy (which is the 3rd game system you have) or that one time you opened the door for that lady. I’m talking about the patterns of our lives. The rhythm our hearts have developed. What repeatedly goes on in our minds and hearts which makes us who we are.
Because men, our kids are learning. If you aren’t involved with your kids they are learning to leave. To abandon responsibilities. If you are around but you think your kids don’t know about that thing you’re hiding from them, they are learning to lie, hide and live secret lives. Because it does come across that they don’t know you for real. Maybe not today, but eventually they see it. That’s the thing about rhythms, they’re not like events. You can hide events. You can’t hide rhythms.
So I’ve been thinking about what my rhythms are. Some good, some bad. For example, some good rhythms I think I have:
- Persistent seeking to become better…spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically
- Genuine love for my family
- Desire to be significant and not just successful
- Willingness to sacrifice for deeper relationships
- Disciplining myself to develop good habits
But then, others are really bad:
- Willingness to justify my own darkness
Each of these things are like rocks I’m throwing into the lakes of my children’s lives and those around me. They create ripples. They send shock waves into their lives that impact who they are, the choices they know how to make and the relationships they have. And to be frank, that scares me. It scares the crap out of me. Because even the things I don’t see will help or hurt my kids. Maybe even more so than the things I’m conscious of. The worst of it is that there is definitely a lot I don’t see – and don’t want to.
In the end we can only do what we know to do. But I have to give that statement two caveats: we can always increase our knowledge of what to do and we are most likely not doing all we know to do. In a way, I find this greatly encouraging. This is something we can get our hands on and get to work with. This is practical. It’s not some head job that we have to work through. If I’m selfish – I simply start consciously putting others before myself. And I ask others to hold me accountable to that. If I’m arrogant, I ask people to call me out when it rears its head. And I also learn to ask myself about an action I’m about to take, “Is this intended to make me look good or someone else?” And if it’s for me, I just don’t do it. At least for a while until the beast is tamed.
Now it’s time to close down the computer and get to work. It’s one thing to write about this but it’s another to really experience life change. So this is me asking anyone that knows me to help me be true to my word here. I need help and I want to win this war. My kids lives are at stake…and so are yours.