The Currency of Fatherhood is TIME

Justin Brackett is up next in By Dads For Dads.  I’ve gotten to know Justin really well over the last year.  We have so much in common, I knew from the start, a great friendship would develop.  We finally met in person at CES in January.  He is a quality guy and passionate about his family and 2 kids.  You can find Justin on Twitter at @justinthesouth.  You can also find him at Social Village, Develop Socially, and Abiah!

A few weeks ago there was a story about a career day at a middle school on local TV . Near the end of the story, the crew found a young boy to ask the question of the hour: “So, when you grow up what do you want to do?”  The boy without hesitation said “A state highway patrol man.”

In that moment your heart can’t help but swell with pride and joy that this young guy at such a young age know without a doubt what his calling was.

Then, he followed up his comment… “Then I can see my dad!.”
It hit me. That young middle school aged boy, the future of society, was speaking out for the millions of children out there… who were aching to see their dad. He was telling the story of our potential future. When we become busy, noisy, distracted- we spend less time with the investment in our children, our legacy.Did you know that the American Camping Association reports that parents have less than 90 mins a month, in meaningful conversation with their kids! A MONTH!! When did it become acceptable to be passively shirk your responsibilities? Is parenting really not a big deal? Are we really that busy?

What is motivating your kids today to make decisions that will affect them the rest of their life?
Until you read this you may have not been aware at how often the iPhone is in your hand or how often your attention is with something else… maybe you did not realize that your child, no matter how young notices your behavior. We lead by example, our character is not a part time, multi tasked gig- it’s a full time lifestyle.My buddy Michael Jr. has a term for that “Lack-a-daddy.”
It’s the term describing absent fathers- those who are physically or even mentally present.

You can even look at the news headlines- there are tragic stories of parents choosing Farmville or Facebook over caring for their children. It doesn’t have to be that extreme to impact your child’s life. Are we living our love for our children? Are we showing them in action that we are passionate about their growth and place in this world?

What would a generation look like if a handful of us fathers banded together to make a commitment to have healthy boundaries and priorities? To choose to love and protect our kids before that task or job or email or app or device… to give our children the attention they deserve. Do we trust God enough to allow Him to align our priorities? What legacy are you leaving in your children? Is it distracted, impatient, diluted, unhappy? Or is it focused, honorable, loving, generous?

Are we willing to become Fathers and men by living with character and leading our families? Are we courageous enough to shatter the status quo of being busy with intentional living and leading? If we do, and are present and listen, it will be one of the most gracious acts of love we can give anyone, especially our children. Are we willing to sacrifice that email, blog comment, retweet, traffic to our site for the love of our children? Does any of that really matter in comparison to our future and legacy?

The way we love our children is the purest form of discipleship. Today, I put down my phone, close my laptop, and press the big ignore button, nothing matters more than my kids. Today I choose love. Who is with me?


5 thoughts on “The Currency of Fatherhood is TIME

  1. This reminds me of a conversation I had with someone I respect. I said to him, “I need to find more time to spend with my son.”

    His reply was that you will never FIND more time, you need to schedule it. This article reminded me of how important that is!

    Thanks Justin.

    • Adrian, That is so true, we will never find more time. Honestly its something now each morning I schedule time when I can hangout focus. There has to be time that you are disconnect and just show them they are the most important.

  2. Patrick – if I might – it’s even easier than we think. We should remember that children don’t ask for much in the way of attention, though it may seem that way at times. They don’t think of time as we do until they get older – but even a 15 yr old thinks that it’s foreverrrrrrrrr until he turns 18! Minutes seem like hours, and so on. Use that to your advantage.

    Just remember to keep it simple. A few minutes each day spent focusing on them, exclusively, will go much further than blocking out half a day once a week to go to a ballgame. The latter will be appreciated, the former will be cherished.

    Not saying don’t do the “big event” but while we all would probably need to schedule the “big events”, think of this: simply spending 5, 10, 15 minutes with your child, reading a book to them (or having them read to you!) or going for a walk around the block hand in hand or making a sandwich or even doing a chore together – these aren’t complicated things. They are just things that make the child the focus of those minutes and are things we can do every day, without much problem.

    So don’t pick up the remote as soon as you get home, or turn on the computer. Instead, go straight to your child(ren), sit on the floor or side of their bed, say hello, and listen to them for a couple of minutes. Don’t tower over them, get at their level.

    Even if you think it’s too late, that they’re too old, the reality is that it’s never too late. Even if they don’t seem to appreciate it, they really do, deep inside. Rebellious youths are only frustrated that they don’t seem to matter; if we always take them seriously, they have little need to rebel (yeah, they’ll always find something but it doesn’t have to be extreme).

    Of course it’s not this simple but it kinda is.

  3. Pingback: Happy Birthday, Gina! « Rey(es) of Light

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