Say What You Mean, Do What You Say

My oldest son and I were driving somewhere together one day when he was in his teenage years.  He was pestering me, just being a teenage boy when I said to him, “Micah you better stop it or I’m going to punch you in the face.”

He replied laughing, “Oh dad, come on, you know you’re not going to punch me in the face.” and he went back to pestering me.

About ten minutes passed when I reached over and lightly punched him in the jaw.  “Hey! You hit me! Why’d you do that for?”

“Because you said I’d never do that.”

Suffice it to say the pestering stopped. (At least for the remainder of the ride anyway.)

One of the worst things you can do as a man is to say one thing and then do another. While I don’t advocate punching your kids in the face, this one time I had to get a point across to my son, and be a man of my word.  Too often we tell people we’re going to do something and then it never happens.  Is it any wonder our world is such a mess?

What are we teaching our children when we do this?  We perpetuate this idea of saying one thing and doing another as the norm.  When my children were living under my roof, I really made an effort to do what I had told them I’d do.  If I said we were going to do something, I made every effort to make sure I could honor my word and do it.

My children did hear the phrase, “We’ll see.” in answer to most of their questions about doing something.  It got to the point where when I said that, they would roll their eyes and say, “That means we’re not going to do it then.

Think about it for a minute, if you tell your kids you’re going to do something then don’t, they learn it’s not important to do what they say from the most important person in their life.  In turn, they begin saying one thing and doing another; and the circle just keeps spinning and spinning; people never doing what they say.

Basically not keeping your word means you’re a liar.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  Every time you say you’re going to do something and don’t, you lied. Obviously being a liar isn’t as bad a thing in the eyes of the world like it used to be; after all we see it in politics all the time.  It’s almost as if lies have become the norm, and telling the truth is weird.

Be a man of your word regardless of how difficult it may be. If you tell someone you’re going to do something, then do it.  It’s up to us as men to make the changes in our own personal lives first and if enough of us do it, then we’ll begin to see change in our society and watch as things get back to the way they always should’ve been.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

 

 

Father of the Bride…Are You Ready?

April Walking down the aisleI stood there in my borrowed hospital scrubs; little paper covers on my tennis shoes, while fidgeting with the blue hair cover trying to keep it out of my eyes.  The time had come for my baby girl to make her entrance into the world, and I was there to be a spectator of the birth.

My wife was about to go under the knife for the second time, and this time the doctor had told her I could watch.  This wasn’t my choice, I would have preferred the old fashion way of childbirth where the fathers wait in the waiting room, then see their child after they’ve been cleaned up.  But my wife wanted me there, so there I was.

They ushered me into the room, showed me where to stand and then began the procedure.  Thankfully I was far enough away to not see them slicing through my bride’s skin, and when the doctor raised her stomach and told me what she was doing, the room did spin for a moment.  There are just some parts of your wife you never really want to see.

But I made it; watching them as they removed my baby girl, hearing her first cry and starting the journey of having my heart melt time and again because of her.

There is a special bond between a dad and his daughter.  I love my other kids too, but there is just something about little girls and what they can do to their daddy’s heart.  Through the years of Sponge Bob, friends, sleepovers, tea parties and a host of other things I would have never thought I would have been a part of; my baby girl grew into a beautiful young woman.

Like most girls, she met and fell in love with a young man, and the two of them decided to get married.  As we were looking at the venue she wanted to use for her ceremony, it dawned on me how I had completely missed out on something as a dad, and I want to share with those of you who have daughters so you don’t miss out on this too.

As the planning took on shape, it dawned on me I was going to have to come up with a lot of money to make her dream wedding come true.  I’ve not always been real good with my money, and I realized as the bills began to come in how I should have started saving for this when she was a little girl.

It would’ve been so easy too.  If I would have set aside just $5 a week when she was born, at the end of 18 years I would have had $4,680.  For $10 a week the sum grows to $9,360, $15 a week becomes $14,040, $20 a week would’ve given me $18,720 and if I had put aside $25 a week it would have netted me $23,400 in the bank.

The main thing is, if I’d had set aside a little bit each week, my wife and I wouldn’t have had to work the extra hours for the months prior to the wedding to provide this for her.  I’m glad we were able to give her the wedding she’d dreamed about, and we never had to tell her she couldn’t have something because of money, but a little preplanning on my part would have been great.

Dads, I know you don’t want to think about your baby girl getting married and moving away, but you do need to start setting aside a little bit each week for when this does happen.  When the day comes, it will make her wedding dreams come true when you tell her she can have whatever she wants because you have the money set aside for it.

Now you know what I think, what do you think?

Dad Your Ringtone Is Too Loud

My cell phone rang out loud and clear, and my excitement grew as I crossed the living room to pick it up.  The ringtone which was playing out loud and strong was The Avengers theme song; this is what I have set as my closest male friends contact ring.  It helps me to screen calls; yeah we all do it and if you haven’t set ringtones for your contacts, maybe you should think about it.

Anyway, as I went to pick it up, I mentioned how without my Otterbox cover on my phone its ring was even louder than normal.  My twenty-one year old daughter made the comment, “Yeah, but dad, it’s SO loud!”  I laughed as I answered the phone and talked to my friend.

In case you’re wondering why I like my ringtone loud, it’s simply because I want to know when someone is calling me.  In this world where almost everyone has a phone in their pocket, I think it’s rude if you don’t answer it.  Most of the time when my kids don’t answer their phone when I call, it’s because they have it on silent or vibrate.

Now I understand the importance of using the silence button.  If I’m at church, the movies or in an important meeting at work, I always put it on vibrate.  But other than when I’m extremely busy, I answer my phone if it rings.

I’ve told my friends and family to call me anytime, but if I don’t answer them it’s because I’m too busy at the moment to take the call, not because I’m ignoring them.  There is another side to this however.  I also tell them if it is an emergency and I don’t answer the first time, to immediately call me back.  If I see someone is calling me back to back then I know it is not just a social call.

I really try and answer the phone whenever I can, but this helps them to understand I am not just blowing them off.  Which is exactly how I feel when I call someone and they don’t pick up.  For instance, when I call my kids and they don’t respond; either by text or answering the phone, my mind can go to dark places quickly, and I have to fight off the fear which tries to take my heart.

Most of the time, they won’t text me back because they’re driving (and this is a good thing) then they forget to respond once they arrive at their destination.  I try not to take it personally, but you know sometimes us dads can go ballistic over the dumbest little things.

So I’ve got a suggestion for you, pick up the phone when it rings and if it’s on silent, don’t leave it that way all the time.  Silence your phone only when it is really important.  So there you have it, my rant for the day. Have a great day, and answer your dang phone!!!

 

It’s the Little Things

Fire raced across the living room floor where only moments before, John had led his children and wife to the front door and safety.  The fire was quickly moving through the house, turning to ash everything it touched in its journey.  It was 2am and even though it was cold outside, the heat from the house fire was keeping him warm as he watched the smoke curl upwards towards the night sky.  John was thankful he’d been able to get his family out in time.

Fire can destroy a home in a matter of minutes, taking away the place you live.  And while this type of disaster is horrible, there is one even more insidious which brings about the same results; although it usually takes years to accomplish.  

The little critters known as termites eat away at the wood in your home, and while these tiny little insects may seem insignificant to you because of their size, if left unchecked they will bring your house down around you.

The big things which happen in your life are noticeable because they’re right there in your face, but it’s the little things which can actually do more damage.  This is because it happens over a period of time and you don’t notice the changes as they’re happening.  It may take years before you actually see what they have done.

One thing you can do to prevent this type of devastation is to take preventative measures.  If you’ll step up and do things to check on the status of your house periodically, you can, like Barney Fife said in “The Andy Griffith Show” nip it in the bud.

Just like these little things can destroy your home, the same can be said for your marriage.  Many married men find out too late that their wife no longer has any interest in them and possibly has even taken the kids and left.  They scratch their heads and wonder where it all went wrong.

It’s because they didn’t take any preventative measures to assure their relationship was doing well.  Over time they allowed little things to come in and eat away at their relationship.  Not big things mind you, but little things here and there like ignoring the trash, leaving their underwear on the floor, only talking to her about paying the bills or ignoring her feelings about various things.  The list goes on and on.

If we’re not careful men, married life can end up like a business.  And neither one of you got married so you could be in a business venture.  Just as the little things can erode your relationship, doing little things for each other can strengthen it too.  Remembering her birthday or your anniversary without her having to remind you, bringing home her favorite candy or flowers for no apparent reason or making sure the trash is taken care of, all of these things can go a long way to making her feel loved.

After all isn’t this what we all want in our marriages, to be loved?  If you’ll focus on her needs, taking the appropriate measures to do the little things which tell her you love her every day, it’ll be just like taking preventative measures to make sure you don’t have any of those pesky little insects devouring your home from the inside.

Now you know what I think, tell me what you think.