A Word for Other Dad’s of Small Kids

This weekend is a big women’s conference at our church, which means that a hundred dads are going to be flying solo at home with their kids. Are you one of those men? If so, I have a simple question for you. Are you going to relegate your role to simply babysitting your kids, or are you going to be the father that you have been called to be?

Having 4 children (girls, that is) under the age of 6, I understand the exhausting, frustrating side of being a Dad. Sometimes my life feels like one of those memes that shows what we think being a dad would be like and what being a Dad really is. Before children we dream about the days of playing ball with our sons, having tea parties with our daughters, praying with them and very patiently teaching them the ways of God.

Then we actually have the kids we have asked God for.  Suddenly life does not look so well-kept.  The endless hours we thought we would have for fun activities are taken up with running carpools, and our gentle talks about God go by the wayside in an effort to simply keep them from hitting one another…all after a long day’s work.

Being a Dad is hard, and if I’m honest with you, there are days that I daydream about the day my kids are grown, able to come visit frequently, but allowing for me to play more golf, watch more football, and have “me time” in more abundance.

Sometimes we are so focused on what we do not have that we completely lose track of what we do have. The familiar Psalm is applicable here:

“The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures…” Psalm 23:1-2

We so often see the green pastures as a place that He is taking us to; a place in the distance.  What if, however, you were in a green pasture right now? What if the the chaos of this season of life was not something to get through but something to lie down in and enjoy?

Men, what if we saw this weekend not as “sacrificing for our wives,” or “babysitting our kids,” but took the opportunity to see it for what it is: a green pasture that the Lord has so graciously placed us in.  Here are just a few practical challenges I have for you this weekend.

  1. Set aside the schedule.  We all have things to do, but set aside everything that is not essential and do some spontaneous things with your kids.
  2. Go to the park and leave your phone in the car.
  3. Enter your kids world. Ask them what they want to do, and do everything you can to make it happen. Let this be a time to do what they enjoy, not just taking them along on things you need to do.

These are sweet times, friends. Our children are only young for a brief amount of time, and we don’t get many opportunities for it to just be us and them. Live it up. There will be plenty of “you” time to come.

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