The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

June 14, 2014

How will you be remembered by your children, Dad?

ENID, Okla. — My 5-year-old granddaughter, Talor Jo, is an aspiring columnist. She also is an aspiring gymnast, T-ball player, dancer and pretend mom … but mostly she just loves her daddy. To see her little eyes light up when she talks about her daddy and sees him coming up the walk when it’s time to pick her up from school, is inspiring to me.

When it’s time to write my column, she will say “MeMe, here’s my column,” and hand me a paper with scribbling lines and a picture she has drawn of herself somewhere on the page. That always makes my heart smile … makes me proud to know she pays attention to what I do. And that’s a column in itself, people. We have no idea how heavily we are watched and listened to by the children in our lives. But, today is Dad’s day, so I asked Talor if she would like to help Meme write a column about Father’s Day.

With Talor at my side, we visited with some of the children at Small World, where she has attended since age 2. We asked them what was some of their favorite things about their Dad:

Kodan and Tatum are brothers, and they like playing games and going swimming with Dad. They like when he reads books to them; Keeley says she likes it when Dad sits next to her on a trip; William likes to play Spider-Man and Wolverine with his Dad; Aniston likes watching cartoons with her Dad; Evian also likes watching cartoons with Dad; and Noah really likes it when he goes camping with his Dad.

Seven-year-old Jake, the son of some friends of mine, says his favorite thing about Dad is that he always plays with him and his little brother, Jude, especially the game called Pie in the Face, where Jake somehow always finds a way to win, “cause that’s just how Dad is,” says Jake.

For a child, “love” is spelled: T-I-M-E. Children need that personal time with Dad. They cling to every word and imitate every move.

That little heart, so full of love and admiration, is so very fragile and vital to a growing boy or girl. A little girl’s first date should be with her Dad, so he can show her just how special she is and how she should always be treated, especially when he is conversing with her over a cup of pretend tea at a tiny table full of dolls and stuffed animals. A little boy’s first time in the woods, hunting and fishing with Dad, talking man-to-man, riding motorcycles together or fixing up an old car instills the importance of communication. Guys, one father is worth more than a dozen schoolteachers. That personal time and attention tells your children that, “If Dad has time for me, then he must care about me.”

Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it,” and Ephesians 6:4 instructs “Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger, but rear them tenderly in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.”

Men, ask yourself, “Is my life worth imitating? Am I giving my children the spiritual guidance that will get them to the other side when life gets tough and they don’t know what to do?” Dads, you are always gonna be on center stage with your children, and you never know when the next test will show up. You’re human, and you will blunder your efforts on more than one occasion, but they will listen as long as you are real and honest with them, always leaving them with an encouraging word. Just remember, there’s always tomorrow. God’s mercy’s are new every morning, as should yours be.

When I ask Talor Jo what she loved most about her Dad, and what she wanted to write in her column about him, she said “I like when he picks me up at school and I like when he picks berries with me, and that he loves me. Oh Meme, I just love my Daddy.”

How will you be remembered by your children, Dad? What traits, behaviors or characteristics will they take from you? In years to a come, will they recall your affection and acceptance, will they latch on to your faith? What legacy will you leave?

Gen. Douglas MacArthur once said about being a father: “By profession, I am a soldier and take great pride in that fact. But I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build. The father only builds, never destroys … It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle, but in the home.”

Praise God, I am blessed to have three sons-in-law with a heart for their children, whose priority is their children and whose house serves the Lord. Not every child has that, not every child has a father … and to that child I say “God is a Father to the fatherless. He will provide your every need according to His riches in glory. Have faith in God.” (Psalm 68:5 and Philippians 4:19)

My late husband, Russel, and my little daddy, have both gone home to be with the Lord. They were both loving and wonderful Dads, leaving behind many golden memories and times of laughter. They are greatly missed.

Also Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful sons-in-law. You are amazing Dads, and I am absolutely crazy about each one of you.

Father-God, may we lead by example. Help us to instruct our children in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not turn from it.

Keep the Faith and worship somewhere today.

Sorrels is News & Eagle editorial assistant and can be reached at psorrels@enidnews.com or at (580) 548-8140.

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