Let me tell you a little about my girls…
Watching Aurora grow up is like living in an alternate reality in which your “self” in this parallel world is an adorable 7-year-old girl. She thinks like me, she talks like me, and she appreciates the same things that I do. She is patient, onery, and organized to a fault (just like I am). Aurora has her own qualities though. She is adventurous in a way I am not. Well, that might be it. I actually called my wife to see if there was anything else I was missing. Her advice was, “Maybe you can just write about the similarities.”
Nadia is a woodland princess. She steps softly everywhere she goes (literally and figuratively). She sees beauty in the things most people take for granted- like leaves, bugs, and weeds. She can just as easily create beauty through herself and through her art. Nadia is my buddy. She loves to be by her daddy’s side and craves my admiration. Her nurturing spirit will make her a great friend to anyone that has the pleasure of meeting her.
Josie is the full embodiment of cute. When she talks, walks, or makes a mess she does so in a manner that leaves you wanting to pick her up and give her a big bear hug. Josie is also not easily shaken. She can endure so much while still keeping a smile on her face. When the rest of the family is complaining, Josie is just rolling with the punches. I love how well Josie is able to see the needs of others at her young age. When someone is hurt or needs some attention, she is usually the first to notice.
I appreciate my girls, but some days I find that it is so much easier to be critical of them instead of telling them how much they mean to me. When my children get older, I want them to fault me for how many times I told them that I love them, and not that I crushed their spirit through my words and actions. There will be a day where I won’t have the same influence on them that I have now. In the future, they will care more about what another guy has to say about them than I do. But, now is my time. It’s my opportunity to speak truth into their lives and strengthen them from the inside out.
When you are working away from home, you may find that it is hard to give to your kids after a long day at the office. You may be struggling to have patience after you have been giving it out so freely. You may be hurt and frustrated from the challenges that you have faced. It’s common for us to give our all at work and have only leftovers available at home. But, we need to have room in our hearts and our busy schedules for our children. This might mean that we need to re-prioritize some things from time to time. It may require us giving something up, even if just for a season. Remember- investing in our family is worth it! As a man’s life comes to an end, the only footprints that will remain are the ones placed on the hearts of those he has loved.
This week, I am reminding myself and encouraging my readers- tell your children you love them. Spoil them with your love. Our love for our children should be like a pail in the rain, topped to the brim and overflowing on every side. When we find ourselves wanting to point out our child’s every fault or inflict our anger and frustration on them, I ask that we would pause ourselves. If we want our children to hear our words and learn from our wisdom, then we must first draw them close with our love. This is my challenge for you this week: to be slow to become angry with your children and quick to show love. Then, share with us in the comments this week what this challenge has done for your family.
Stay Rock Solid, dads!