Let's Change the Game this Father's Day

We have all been there as children.  Can you remember?  It's the week before Father's Day, and for many of us, at some point between the Sunday and Saturday before, we start scrambling to make or buy a gift that we hope will please our dad and show our love for him.  Whether you started early or late in the gift process, it's still stressful.  We wonder…will he like it, will he wear it, will he use it, or will it end up in a drawer for a few years before being sent off to the thrift store?  How do you buy something for the guy who seems to have all he needs?  

If you've been blessed with children, they're likely going through the same process this coming week.  But here's how you can change the game.  Rather than sitting back and waiting to receive the gifts, praise, and attention, why not spend a few moments yourself preparing some gifts and words of blessing for your kids?

At 3GEN, we talk with men often about the four pillars of authentic manhood - reject passivity, lead courageously, accept responsibility and expect God's reward.  This is a great way to put these pillars into practical action.  I guarantee this will change this day every year going forward.  Your kids will look forward to this day instead of feeling the stress and angst of finding the perfect gift that you will love… or the sadness and frustration if they don’t.

First, let's start with words of blessing.  We can use God's model of blessing when His son Jesus was baptized at the beginning of his ministry.  "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." ” (Matthew 3: 16-17 NIV)  In short, God proclaims to everyone around that "This is MY son.  I love him and I am very pleased and proud of him."

So now it's your turn.  Following that example, write out a brief note to your son or daughter using these questions as a guide.  Write one for your wife, but just tweak the questions. (A handwritten note is preferred but if your handwriting is as bad as mine, type it out and print it.  But sign it with a handwritten PS)

  1. Why are you glad that they are your son or daughter?  What about them brings you joy?

  2. What is one of your favorite memories with them?  A trip? A date? 

  3. Why do you love them?  What do you admire about them?

  4. What have they done that pleases you or makes you proud?

  5. What do you look forward to as they grow older?

  6. At the end, add a P.S. with a compliment or something you'd give them a high five over

Now, go find a gift.  Try not to buy anything.  If you're like me, you have a drawer or box filled with gadgets and gear that you will never use.  Who needs more than one knife or flashlight?  If that's not you, then go find their favorite treat (candy bar, chips, etc).  You don't have to be extravagant, just thoughtful.

Finally, when the day comes, LEAD COURAGEOUSLY.  It's your day, so you can make it what you want.  So make it about the right things.  It might be awkward at first, but press on.  Give big hugs.

If you have a strained relationship with a child, ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY and apologize.  Ask forgiveness and tell them you love them and want the relationship restored.  If you're apart, REJECT PASSIVITY and make that phone call.  Don’t wait on them.  Read your note to them.  Once you've shared all your words of blessing, trust God to do His work of healing.  It might take time, but you can absolutely trust and EXPECT GOD'S REWARD.

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Your brother in Christ,

Travis Runion

Travis Runion