Father’s Day is coming one more time and you still have a chance at having a great family.
Fathers, like most all people, have good days and bad days. They have great seasons of life and some that are more difficult. Few fathers will look back over their lives and say, “Every day I was a perfect dad.” Some days were better than others.
We all feel bad about the seasons of our lives when we had to work too much. Working all the time depletes energy we would prefer to spend on our families. The problem is that like most fathers we want to keep a roof over our heads and food in the refrigerator. Making car payments, house payments, and all the basic things of life typically keep most dads and moms very busy.
Even in a home filled with love and patience the average dad lives a juggling life. He is pulled between work, kid’s ballgames, meeting the needs of his wife and housework. Add to this school meetings, homework, fishing, piano lessons and family events, all while trying to maintain and add to his career.
Most of us looking back can think of some endeavors or activities we wish we had let go in order to spend more time with our families. For some weird reason at the time they seemed all so important but now they feel like wasted time.
Throughout life the way we typically learn is the hard way. Education is always expensive. Our vision is 20/20 looking back. People tell us what we will regret and what we should do but we rarely believe them. When we get past the “55 mark” of life we start to realize what the “old timers” told us was true. You know how it is because you probably tell your kids about what is right and wrong and what they will appreciate or regret. In most cases they don’t pay much attention to you.
The only season of being a father that you have is this one. No future is guaranteed and yesterday is gone. You do have today. Have a loving and forgiving heart. Extend grace and a second, third or fourth chance. Try to spend time with those you love. You are probably finding out now that your grown children are too busy for you. They have lives of their own and you may not be a priority. It hurts some but they probably are being like you used to be. Don’t lose sleep over this but be available and reach out as you are able.
Finally, you have to be more than the human ATM machine. You can’t buy your children’s affection for the rest of your life. Every parent wants to help their children but the best thing you can do for them is work with them to help them care for themselves. You can either teach them to fish or spend the rest of your life fishing for them and this ends up being a hard life for you and cripples them.
Today is another opportunity to be a good father. This is also a good day for you to reciprocate love and affection to your dad. A father and a child working together can make a great family.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is an author and his column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.