They let us choose our destiny
They taught us about the Lord early
They didn't harness our wild side
The created positive lasting memories
They made small occasions special
They embraced our friends like family
They took us on adventurous vacations
They encouraged me to go to church camps
They made our faith priority
They never raised their voices at each other
They sacrificed greatly for us
They were our youth leaders
They never got old-fashioned
They apologized when they did wrong
They made lasting memories
Our men's group at church is going through the book Resolution. Last night we talked about 10 things that distance ourselves from our kids and three things that draw us closer to them. I found these two lists to be a great evaluation tool for me as a dad.
Below is a checklist to evaluate how you are doing raising your kids. Are you parenting in a way that is drawing your kids closer to you or are you creating distance?
Ten ways fathers distance themselves from their kids
Harsh Criticism (Name Calling)
Lack of Compassion
Hurting their mother
Three ways fathers build a close relationship with their kids
So what if you read this list and realize that you missed the mark in a few areas. Maybe your kids are fully grown now and you think that it's too late to restore your relationship. The sad truth is that there are many children in this world who don't shed a tear at their father's funeral because of the pain they felt from him. It’s never too late to make things right. One of the best ways to heal the wound in your relationship with your kids is to man up and humbly tell your kids where you went wrong and that you are sorry. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure that out, but it will force you to swallow some pride. Have your kids ever heard those words out of your mouth? I've had to say sorry to my kids a few times, and its never easy, but in the end it brings healing, freedom, and it puts the regrets behind you.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. ~ Colossians 3:21