I try to get time with my kids every week. Most weeks, this means about an hour each with them of uninterrupted time. We go to the park, play games, build legos or sit and talk. I think the main issue is that we have that time. I work really hard to protect this time from others and from me (being distracted, etc).
But, on Valentine’s Day, I make it a point to take each of my girls on a daddy date (Mom takes the boys.). This year, Elea wanted to go to breakfast and Corinne wanted to go to lunch…so it worked out well. Elea woke me up this morning dressed and ready to go to The Village for pancakes. Corinne reminded me when it was time to go eat Chinese. And, I had a blast with my girls.
Here’s some reflections on my day…
This will go by all too fast. My oldest girl is almost 10. We held hands walking into Asian Garden. I opened the door for her. She told me about things that were important to her. As we left, she walked next to me leaning her head on my arm. I’m not sure how much longer she will want Daddy to hold her hand, but I hope it’s a really, long time.
I want them to know how a young man is supposed to treat them. When Elea and I left this morning, she said, “Daddy, you’re supposed to open the door for me.” I said, “I sure am.” I want every young man who even thinks about thinking about my girls to meet a high standard that they have set for him. I want my girls to expect to be honored, protected and valued by a man who loves Jesus. And, to know how to walk away if those things aren’t happening from the beginning. They will learn that primarily from the way I treat them and their mom.
Daddy, Wake up! It’s time for our date!
There is no way I can be all that I need to be for them apart from God’s grace. Even as I think about what I want to be as a Daddy to my girls, I’m overwhelmed by my utter need for Jesus to make me the man I am to be. It’s all too easy to be that on a day like today with set aside time. But, to be the man I am to be on a normal Thursday when “fill in the blank with stress from your job” gets in the way. If that is to happen, I desperately need God and the word of His grace which is able to build me up.
Lord Willing, there will be a blessed day when I give their hand to a man and say, “Her mother and I.” Days like today make me prayerful for the young man. Prayerful that he wouldn’t make some of the mistakes I did. Prayerful that he would be raised by (or mentored by) a man who can show him what it means to be a gospel man. Prayerful that I won’t scare him away when he shows up. Also, prayerful that my girls will have gospel formed backbones of steel and not place their hopes in marriage or a man. So that if they are called to singleness for a time, they can embrace that with grace and hope as many of the single ladies at Exodus do.
As Corinne and I pulled into the driveway after a quick stop to get Mommy a treat, she asked me, “So, Daddy are you going to open my door again?”
“Yes, sweetie. Yes, I am.”