TIP 37. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Some men are born with tender hearts and some men develop them throughout life, and unfortunately there are some men who never achieve this high level of our humanity. Now we can often be impressed by the abilities of athletes who are paid to play football or cricket professionally, but we are constantly reminded that these men are less than perfect when their actions off the field are exposed publicly. The men that have most influenced my life over years rather than being sporting stars were men who were unashamedly soft-hearted and caring.
The world is full of men who are great leaders, or great orators, but in our modern world there seems to be a noticeable lack of men who allow the love of God to flow through them to their family. In my experience when we take the time to seriously consider those things that really matter to us as men, our love for our family is usually our top priority.
There are some men that couldn't care less if they are abusive to their children or other people, but thankfully they are in the minority. Most men want to be the best dad they can be, and want to secure a bright future for their children. Most men love their children abundantly and would do anything at all to help them, but sadly many men lack the understanding or resources to fulfil their dream.
The fact that you are actually reading this is proof that you have a desire to be the best dad you can be, and that desire is honourable. But for most of us becoming the dad we really want to be is a life long process, and change comes periodically in our hearts and lives. We don't change overnight and become the world's best dad, as much as we would like to. We all bring baggage with us from the way we were brought up, and much of the baggage takes time to work through and overcome. If we have been brought up under a father figure that was abusive or violent etc. we may still carry the scars and even some of the same attitudes in our own life, this unfortunately is all too common.
If we have been brought up with a father figure who was a drug or alcohol abuser we may have picked up some of those habits, and these also may take some time to overcome. Some times our fathers do things or say things that adversely shape our lives, and when we become fathers suddenly we realise that those problems have become our problems too. None of us is perfect, we all have our faults. We are all on this journey called life together and the aim is to ensure that individually and corporately as members of the human race, we can make a worthy contribution while we are here and be fully prepared to move on to the next life in heaven.
But the process is often a slow one, and as men we are susceptible to becoming frustrated with the pace with which we may achieve change in our lives. If I could make one statement that you remember today, it would be 'be kind to yourself', as this is one of the best ways to stay on track. If we look at our development as a father as a marathon race and not a sprint, we will grasp much of the understanding we will need to achieve the change we desire to see in our own hearts and lives.
When we are teaching our children how to walk we don't give up on them if they fall down 10, 20 or even 100 times before they finally develop the skills required to walk. Neither should we give up on ourselves if we make a few mistakes along the way.
Being a dad means we will continually learn new things in our role as it changes through all the stages of child development, that change will continue in our lives perhaps all the way to becoming a great grandfather.
Dads' Call To Action:
Go easy on yourself if you make a few mistakes on the way, we all do. Remember if you fall off a horse the best thing you can do is get right back on and have another go.
(Matthew 13 v 52)
Then He said to them, "Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old."