The Day I Almost Ran

I was playing around with a rambunctious, five year old kid, tickling his sides and underarms. This energetic, fast moving boy was giggling hysterically. All of a sudden, I stepped away and froze as if I had been injected with a paralytic drug. I was motionless for what seemed an eternity and could not muster any words. As I stood in shock, I considered my options: politely smile, run for the door or just walk to another room. All these thoughts raced through my mind leading me to no specific action.  

What happened that caused me to go from playing with this kid to standing in shock? Well, I’ll try the short version. I was dating a nice, pretty lady and we wanted to spend some time together. So I went to see her at her mom’s house, which at the time was also her house. As we sat on the couch talking, in comes this kid who would not be ignored. I had met him before but never like this. He sat next to me as if to say, “look at me!”  

So I started tickling him and then it happened: this young kid, full of personality yelled “daddy! daddy!” That’s when I backed up in surprise and shock. Of course, after a few minutes I played it off but I definitely wasn’t ready for that.

To understand his reaction you’d have to know that he grew up without his biological father. His mother played both roles exceptionally well with family support. She was always and has always been a strong and determined woman. It is safe to say that after some thought and dealing with my own demons that kid stole my heart. I think I may have proposed to him first.  

After Lisa and I became “won” I adopted that rambunctious kid and he has grown into a fine, independent, young man. And I am proud of his giving heart. Thank you Robert, for accepting me in spite of my flaws. I can’t imagine life without you.

5 Reasons Daddy-Daughter Dates Are Important 

I recently had a wonderful date with my beautiful, fun loving daughter. With my work and her school and extracurricular activities, it can be challenging to find time for these. But they are so very important. We didn’t do anything extravagant. We bowled for two rounds and had dinner at one of her favorite spots.
Although our bowling scores were embarrassing, we had great conversation and bonding time. Dinner time is just as enjoyable. We’ve done this before but it’s a new experience now that my baby girl is 16.  Having said that, I’d like to go into five reasons why daddy daughter dates are so important.

1. Reminding my daughter that she can talk to me

   Being a parent means that I’m in a position of authority not friendship. However, I also want my daughter to feel comfortable enough to open up to me about any problems or issues without worrying about being scolded or judged. Dates give us this opportunity.

2. Reminding my daughter that she is special 

   Young girls want approval and want to feel special. If I make my daughter feel special she won’t have seek in other places for acceptance.

3. Setting Standard for future dates

   By giving my princess an example of how should be treated, she will have a pattern of what’s acceptable and not acceptable treatment in future dates. She will then learn not to settle anything less than a gentleman.

4. Having Fun

     Daddy-daughter dates are a great opportunity to just get wild, loose and have lots of fun. We were probably by far the worst bowlers at the joint. But our jokes and trash talking made up for our lack of skill. 

5. Developing memories 
     Daddy daughter dates give my daughter memories that she will treasure for a lifetime. These can be a source of peace and joy in times of sadness or distress. The talks and wisdom nuggets can come in handy. 

So there you have some very good reasons to have daddy-daughter dates. The important thing is not what’s done, but just to do it. Because sooner or later someone else will be taking her on dates.  

Not Only a Father but Also a Dad…

I could not ignore this day, special to many, and to me, without adding a post. I will post the continuation if my last post, but I felt compelled to post some thoughts about what it truly means to be a father. I post this not as an expert on the subject nor as the model of an ideal father, but as man who has learned from disappointments, other men, God’s word and experience on what it means to be a not only a father, but a dad.

No child should have to experience the absence of dad for months. No child should have to see his or her mother cursed at or physically beat. But unfortunately these are the most vivid memories I have on this Father’s Day. And that’s because I may have had a father but never a dad! I harbor no hatred since I did have the opportunity to forgive my father for his lack of commitment and loyalty, but the feelings still linger.

My biological father (I can’t bring myself to refer to him as dad) was hardly around. My younger brother didn’t meet him until he was 7! When he was present, he was more interested in being disengaged and not being a leader. He was more interested in arguing than loving. In fact, I don’t think I ever realized until just now that I never heard the words “I love you,” from my father. Not a great way to model fatherhood. But then again, even if he had said it, they would have been empty words with no actions behind them. He was much more interested in providing an example that if you don’t get your way in a marital argument you resort to the cowardly act of physically abuse.

So you see, although I had a man man who who participated in the act of making a baby with my mom, a biological father, my brothers and I never had a dad. And although we had some other family men, like my grandfather, who stepped up to the task, that void was still noticeable.

A dad, unlike a “baby daddy,” to borrow a term from the common vernacular, will not only make a baby but will provide an example for his baby and kids. The example that a dad should look to pass on has to do with how to lead in Godly love, how to love his wife, how to love his children and how set a standard of what a man is for his daughters. The desire that a dad has to provide a positive influence for his child comes from his love not only for the child but primarily out of the love he has for his wife.

You see, in God’s word and in His standard, a man must first be a husband in order to be a father, 1 Corinthians 7:2-4. This is in line with the rest of scripture which labels sex outside of marriage as a sin, as referenced in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7,
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”

Therefore, being a responsible father must follow from being a good husband. This is called commitment. The husband must love, honor, nourish and cherish his wife in every aspect of her life as we read in Ephesians 5:25-30 and 1 Peter 3:7. Only then will one be prepared to be a good father. For only in this manner will a boy have modeled how a true husband should treat a woman and a girl have a standard from which she can judge all men.

So a man who is a father and wants to be a dad must first provide a positive influence of loving his wife in a manner that glorifies God. The second part of of being a dad is directly related to the children and is a direct mandate from Paul in Ephesians 6:4; “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” What does provoking a child to wrath have to do with modeling or loving my wife? Well, as a dad I should not do things that make my children angry, resentful or bitter. In other words, I should love my wife not scorn her, I should protect and care for my wife not beat her, I should be loyal to my wife not engage in extramarital affairs, and I should provide for my children not neglect them.

Well these are my thoughts on this Father’s Day. I have been given a true blessing in my kids but also an immense responsibility. I pray that I will always be faithful in spite of my past. Happy Father’s Day!!