Father’s Day was Sunday.
I download sermons on my mobile device and use drive time to listen. As you can imagine, a number of the sermons had “fatherhood” as the theme.
We have many fathers among our 1,400 employees. Some grandfathers. Some great grandfathers.
We have fathers living with their kids and others who are apart. Some of you are raising grandkids. Some of you are raising other people’s kids. There is a mixed bag out there.
My vision for PalletOne is that our associates would lead where we live. Not just where we work but at home and at the places where we go in the communities where we live. I call leading and making a difference every where we go “happening to the world.” The idea is we “happen to the world” rather than having “the world happen to us.”
One of the sermons by Bill Hybels in Chicago spoke about the tri-fecta of effective fatherhood. According to him, here are the three things great fathers do:
- Love irrationally. Great fathers have a strategy for loving their kids. Like all great things, they decide to love. They have strategy on how to communicate that love. They are maniacal about implementing the plan. Most of us come from families where our father loved us, but were passive about it. Purposeful fathers look for opportunities to encourage. They plan times to be available for their children. They work hard on fatherhood knowing that the season of being a father will pass quickly.
- Set limits and expectations. Fathers understand that children left to their own resources will likely turn out bad. They step up to the responsibility of teaching kids the right virtues, insisting on the right habits, seeking opportunities for growth. Discipline is part of the deal. Great dads don’t leave limits and expectations to chance.
- Are great examples. Great dads realize that being a poor example will undermine our efforts at love, expectations and standards. We can’t be “do as I say, not as I do.” Being a father has to make you a better man.
Those are tough criteria. All my kids are grown adults now and I confess that I was lax on all three of those criteria. I loved passively at times. I could be sloppy on expectations and standards. My example could be poor at times.
I appreciated that Hybels laid these out for me. I’m sure men listening to his sermon left motivated to be more focused on improving in that arena.
One of the best ways you can happen to the world is to have a great impact on the kids you raise. Especially if you’re doing it on purpose and a great example.
So do it.
As Hybels closed out his sermon, he made this observation. “It is never too late to step up your game as a father.”
Your children, however old they are, still flourish with your praise and encouragement.
Your children, however old they are, will respond to better standards and ideas.
Your children, however old they are, will admire and be inspired by a dad who is being a great example.