Yesterday was Father’s Day! That’s a special day at Church180! At our church we focus on creating an environment where men would be comfortable coming… even if their lady didn’t come!
We believe that the best gift we can give to a lady is a man who honors and loves God and knows how to treat a lady!
Anyhow, yesterday we did a few things that were special for our dads…
- We pulled out the chairs and set up the auditorium with tables and chairs… on the tables were cookies and coffee was served at the cafe! The tables were dressed up to look manly… courtesy of the world’s premier designer, Kim Buchanan.
- The auditorium was filled with the smell of BBQ pork which our worship pastor, Mike Delacruz, had spent hours cooking and prepping! We all hung out after church and ate that goodness!
- Everyone sat at the tables and ate cookies and had coffee while we sang songs that honored our Leader, Jesus, and while I taught.
- Before I taught, Mike Delacruz sang a cover of John Mayer’s song “Daughters”. He nailed it! I really love working with Mike!
And then I talked with our dads about the most important lesson I’m learning as a dad right now… (You can watch/listen to the entire talk here)
“The important stuff requires daily attention.”
We agreed that most every dad wants to be a better dad. In fact we agreed that probably every dad at some point has made a decision or a series of decisions in an effort to be a better dad.
The problem with decisions is this…
Decisions are nothing until you do something!
At some point you MUST put action to the decisions that you make!
You want to do big things in your home… for your kids? Here’s the thing… the big things are made up of a bunch of small things!
In other words… you make a decision to make big change… do big things… raise great kids… be a great dad…
That decision MUST be followed up with a bunch of little actions. We said it like this…
“…the little things, done consistently over an extended period of time produce the biggest results.”
I shared with our church a verse that has been tattooed on my heart for the last year or so that is driving me to this conclusion:
“Our work as God’s servants gets validated – or not – in the details.” (2 Corinthians 6:4 MSG)
We talked a bit about the fact that paying attention to “the daily details” of being an effective dad can be a bit mundane… even boring at times! But I shared this page from Tim Keller’s book, The Reason for God, that gets right up in our grill:
What are the details?
I shared some details that I’ve been paying attention to in my home. The results are amazing! From the way my kiddos go to bed to the way they interact with each other, these details are important and make a huge difference when I pay attention to them every day…
Learn and speak your child’s love language.
I encourage every dad to read “The Five Love Languages of Children.” Learning how your child expresses and receives love is a HUGE step towards becoming a great dad!
Take weekly dates
This is a HUGE deal for your kids! At our house our dates are one hour per week and $1 per date. Not much… but it really is!
When I miss those dates my girls are quick to let me know.
Nightly “Quick Chat”
This is something that I have been doing for about 6 weeks. Every night before they go to sleep, I climb into my girl’s beds and we chat. They set they agenda. Some of my girls just want to me to listen to them … others want to wrestle… but the last thing on their mind is this, “Dad loves me.”
Tell them about them in a journal
Every night I write to each daughter in a notebook reserved for her. I’ll give it to them someday… I’m not sure when.
Sometime ago I read Mark Batterson’s book, Praying Circles Around Your Children. In this book he says that as a parent I am the historian and prophet of my child’s life. In other words, they will know about their past from the things I tell them and they will believe about their future much of what I say to them. My words help to interpret their past and clarify their future.
I began journaling for my girls a few years ago and have recently resumed it with a renewed level of intensity. In the journal I simply tell them what they did that day and affirm the good things I see in them. I also take the opportunity to tell them what I believe and love about them.
Have them read every day
From time to time I watch and listen to what my kids are watching/listening.
So much of what is consumed today is pure assininery (what you just read is a new word). Stupid, irresponsible, CRAP is what much of is available on TV, YouTube, and music these days.
I want my kids to have good things flowing into their minds… things that will provoke thoughtfulness, questions, and wisdom.
To be sure, they consume their share of silliness, but we are working daily to create an environment in which they put some substance into their little heads! Things like the lessons they picked up from Family180, stories of successful men and women, and even some silly books like “Dork Diary”… because reading is better than not reading.
These are some of the things that I am paying attention to as a dad… and I am seeing significant changes in my home… changes that I like.
It really all comes back to this…
The important stuff requires daily attention.
And now, some tweetables
- I love being a dad, and I consider it one of the most important roles in my life.
- Many parents spend more time on social media than they do in meaningful interaction with their kids.
- Deciding is nothing until you do something!
- the little things, done consistently over an extended period of time produce the biggest results.
- The important stuff requires daily attention.
- “Our work as God’s servants gets validated – or not – in the details.” (2 Corinthians 6:4 MSG)
- I want my kids to be emotionally healthy, spiritually & physically strong, relationally alert so I must pay attention to the details… daily.
- When I take time for God, He addresses attitudes, gives wisdom, and helps me navigate the ever changing waters of parenting.
- When I exercise, eat, and sleep well I am a better dad.
- Every big thing is made up of a bunch of little things. A house = a lot of little bricks and nails. A million dollars = a lot of pennies.
There are no big things without little things… so pay attention to them… and that’s what will make the biggest changes in your home!
If you missed yesterday you can watch/listen here… and if you like it you can share it with another dad!
Now to you… what little things are making a big difference in your home?