Posted by: Jeremy Little
January 20, 2013
WELCOME TO THE FINE ART OF FATHERING
Maybe you know that sick feeling in your gut when you wake up one day and realize you are living and doing exactly what you said you’d never do. The last few decades of time have washed away the memory of promising yourself that your future would look different than the men you saw as a boy. That dollar signs wouldn’t mean that much to you and you would live by the motto “work to live, not live to work”.
When I was a kid I dreamed of those days and the weekend trips with my boys I’d someday have. Teaching them to whittle sticks, climb trees, bait hooks and go on great adventures. All these dreams came back to me 5 years ago on a week-long vacation at the lake with my family. I found myself telling my boy “I can’t fish now. I have to go to work”. And if this was the first time or even just a short season I would have been easier on myself. But this was the 3rd year in a row that my wife and kids had planned for a great week with me: no phone, email or work. And for the 3rd year in a row, they were disappointed.
It wasn’t just those weeks in the summer that I repeatedly said, “Not right now, I need to find some wi-fi”. It was in the day-to-day running of my business, our home… really, our lives. The lack of planning mixed with the inability to say no to projects or things in our church community made for a life that was less lived and more just reacting to each moment.
As much as those moments of realization of failure hurt, they were the grace of God to push me on into a new season. I’m not saying those days never creep back up on me. They do, and I have to fight against them. Nor do I think I’ve achieved some fatherhood enlightenment. But I do know that I’ve learned from these mistakes how to be a better man for my wife and for my kids and hope to give my sons a passion to be a man one day.