Todd and I are leading a parenting conference this weekend. During the conference, Todd will take the men into the gym for a heart-to-heart on issues specific to dads who want to lead their families well while I conduct a similar heart-to-heart for moms in the sanctuary.
I’ll be honest. From the moment the conference format was confirmed, I half-wished that I weren’t leading my session. I wanted to listen to Todd.
I was curious. What would this man whom I know to be an exceptional father and husband say given such a unique opportunity to influence? What advice would he give?
It was the first time that I had considered the possibility that Todd might be following advice he had received from someone else. Until that point, I guess I had just assumed that Todd was a great father and husband because he is a generally fantastic human being and that’s what generally fantastic human beings become.
This morning, I was given my fly-on-the-wall opportunity when Todd left his conference notes on the kitchen table so I could compare them to my own. (NOT so that I could post them on my blog, btw! But I’m doing it anyway. Easier to say I’m sorry than ask permission, right? We’ll soon find out. Haha!)
Here it is, friends, my gift to the world, Todd’s short list of advice/reminders for dads who want to lead their families well.
You set the tone in your household. Lead well.
Understand where your children are coming from.
Parent with love and logic.
Be a non-anxious presence.
Your children (especially your daughters) live in the world that you create.
Speak words of encouragement and love.
“Lay down your life…” for your family (1 John 3:16).
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25
Make it easy for your family to honor you.
“Above all else, put on love.” (Colossians 3:14)
I must say that when I read this list, I smiled.
I see now that who/what Todd is/has been to me and to our children, what I thought was a pleasing combination of happy accident and heavenly blessing alone, is actually also the result of intentional interaction, hard work, focus, and determination on the part of a godly man who not only “gets it,” but is determined to bring Biblical ideals to fruition in his family, pleasing the Lord and blessing his family in the process.
No wonder I love him like I do.