I have learned much from being with my father-in-law Tom Hanson who our kids call the Fun Grandpa–He is a joy to have as a visitor and teaches by his example. He is always IN THE MOMENT–He knows how to engage and have fun in the Now. Here are some lessons learned–
1. EMBRACE THE MOMENT–Have a sense of wonder, curiosity, and see life as an adventure.
2. HAVE FUN–Develop the ability to play and be childlike. Get over your self and being all serious and grave all the time.
3. LET GO–Do what you can control and let the rest go! Don’t dwell, over-think, or worry about what you cannot change.
4. LEARN TO LIKE YOURSELF– Focus on the positive. Really give yourself permission to see and dwell on what is good about you and you will be less angry and kinder to yourself and others!
5. SEE THE BEST IN LIFE AND OTHERS–Focus on the positive and what you are thankful for. Choose the good. You can change the way you think and see life so just do it!
6. BE ENGAGED AND ENGAGING–Get over your own trials and hurts and move on! reach out in relationships that give you life and energize others as well. Be all about relationship building and friendship–you will be transformed.
7. SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY/FRIENDS–Do what is really important to you. Do not be ruled by the Tyranny of the Urgent.
8. BE KIND–Listen well. Just be gentle with people and treat them with honor and respect and kindness. You will see it returned ten-fold.
9. BE STILL–Slow down and stop occasionally. Listen for God and get a sense of relaxation and awareness of more than just the chatter of your mind.
10. GIVE/ RECEIVE GRACE–Be forgiving and forgivable. Be ready to give grace by the truckload to others who really need it form you. Accept humanity in yourself and others without making excuses or rationalizing wrong-doing. Be ready to move on and let go and go forward…
Law or grace?
That is the question…
How do you deal with your children and those around you when you’re angry, frustrated, tired, and burned out?…
- YELL and raise your voice ?
- Play the martyr and do the silent treatment?
- Cuss and swear and scream?
- Dole out corporal punishment in the name of training ,control, and authority…
In other words, how to we use our authority?
When I talk about fathering, I think of how God the Father deals with me. And then I realize his kindness, patience, and love and see how short I fall as I deal with others…
God doesn’t always use a stick to beat us when we make mistakes… so why are we as fathers so quick to undress and apply the stick of punishment to those around us, especially our kids.
It’s okay to be angry, and it’s okay to not like injustice, disobedience, immaturity, and some of the zany things kids do in their selfishness.
But what gives you and me the right when we are tired and frustrated to dole out law in the spirit of anger. Our Lord never modeled that type of authoritarianism. He did everything in love, including correction, chastisement, teaching, and encouragement.
You and I as men need to relearn authority. We need to not get caught up in the disciplinarian model and playing the heavy, which is so common in our society. We need to learn the authority of Jesus, based in love, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control.
We need to relearn the father heart of God, and how that applies to our leadership and authority over those for whom we have responsibility. We must be intentional and incremental in learning this model, as it will transform our parenting, and indeed, our lives.
So, the next time you’re faced with someone’s shortcomings, or your own, for that matter, what’s going to be different?
Will it be grace or law?
Respect is defined as… to care, esteem, regard, venerate,revere, honor or reverence.
It is at the core of how all individuals would like to be treated and spoken to.
As fathers when you to show it, in our conversation, tone, actions and kindness to her children.
We need not talk down to them as a smaller person, who is weaker, vulnerable, or less valuable.
Our children need to know they are accepted and acceptable.
They must know they are respected and honored by how they are treated in our…
- and our non-verbals…
Here’s the test… would you speak to or treat another peer or adult in the same manner you do your kids?
- talk down to them?
- berate them
- raise your voice or yell at them
- display poor attitude in your tone or non-verbals?
- show inappropriate anger and frustration and annoyance with your kids?
So if you would not treat another adult like manner, why would you address your kids whom you love as much or more with such disrespect and dishonor?
It seems to me that many parents think it’s okay to not treat your kids with love and respect and address them in inappropriate and dishonoring fashion as individuals.
That’s not to say that when correcting or having courageous conversations with our kids. We can’t show frustration, appropriate anger or annoyance at their immaturity or misbehavior.
Does your child really fill accepted and acceptable?
Respected and honored?
How would your kids respond differently to you, if you consistently address them with appropriate respect and honor?
Begin to show in your your conversation, kindness, actions and tone as well as your non-verbals and you will see a transformation, both in yourself and your children!