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To all the fathers out there: Father’s Day has turned into, yet another, commercialized event on the calendar. If you love your Father, give him a card, gift, and make sure they have a relaxing day. I’ll be first to say, ‘I enjoy the attention;’ but maybe we’re missing something. Maybe Father’s Day is the best opportunity to reflect on fatherhood.  After all, what makes a father, a father? — kids. What would happen if, instead of focusing on ourselves, we honestly reflected on the amazing gift and responsibility of fatherhood?

Sure, kids can still celebrate their father!  But maybe fathers should stop to reflect on the blessing behind Father’s Day — their kids.

I look at my kids and I’m blown away that God has blessed me with two of them. Sometimes I still don’t believe it!  The last three years were a beautiful blur of excitement.

Yes, sometimes they’re crazy. Yes, I want to bang my head off the wall from time to time. But I don’t have to think very long before I remember how blessed I am to be their dad.

My first Father’s Day gift

A light blue polka-dot tie. Rae (our now three-year old) was only a few months old at the time, so she didn’t buy it (Deidre obviously did the shopping). But every time I wear that tie I remember how much of a blessing my daughter is. Not because of what she does or how she shows it, but because God has blessed me with such a beautiful responsibility.  The tie just reminds me.

How do we focus on our blessings?

We can internalize it and simply think about how God has blessed us, or we can make it known. I know, for me, it’s obvious I love my kids, but it’s not always obvious in how I show it.

Here are three ways we can let our kids know they’re a blessing to us:

1. Say ‘I love you’ often.

The more we communicate how much we love our kids, the more they’ll believe it. #FathersDay Click To TweetI can’t leave the house without saying ‘I love you.’  It didn’t take long before Rae began to hold me accountable to that commitment.  Now we have a routine: hug and kiss and be a promise to be good for mommy (usually she forgets that last one fairly quickly).  The point is this — the more we communicate how much we love our kids, the more they’ll believe it.

2. Say ‘I’m proud of you’ often.

Rae has picked up on this phrase as well (’I so proud for you,’ she says). She doesn’t really say it in context all the time, but she uses the phrase to show affection.  I want my kids to know that, no matter what, I will always be proud of them.  They will do things that I don’t agree with and I’ll have to correct them, but I will always be proud to be their father.  The more we communicate how proud we are of our kids, the more they’ll believe it.

3. Show it, and make time for them.

The more we spend time with our kids, the more they’ll believe they’re a blessing. #FathersDay Click To TweetI’m going to be honest, I struggle with this one.  Balancing a high demanding job and a family of four is quite the challenge. Sometimes I get it right, and other times my wife ‘gently nudges’ me (alright, sometimes she needs to be more than ‘gentle’). The issue isn’t knowing what I have to do (I know what adds value).  The issue is remembering to follow through and making sure to change my schedule to allow for more authentic time with them.  The more we spend time with our kids, the more they’ll believe they’re a blessing.

I think if we actually focused on becoming the best father we can be, Father’s Day would mean so much more!

Your turn…

Fathers: How do you ‘relax’ on Father’s Day?  Do you think about yourself, or the blessing of your kids?

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