By Stephen L. Meeks
The most viewed Facebook post on fatherhood in 2018 was of a dad who jumped up on stage at his little girl’s dance performance and joined her when stage fright caused her to freeze. A dad coming to the rescue of his child is always a heart touching scene, especially when it is to his daughter’s side.
I believe most men want to be that kind of dad.
Years ago, I met a guy on a construction job. Friendly, even jovial, unless you crossed him. He went by the nickname of “Hammer,” and not because of his carpentry skills. Hammer had been on the job only a few days when he started opening up about his recent efforts to overcome a drug addiction. I cheered for him and made a comment about the importance of maintaining his freedom from drugs to provide a powerful example to his young son. That’s when he cried.
Men generally don’t cry in front of other men; even less so when it’s a crew of construction workers, but Hammer laid down the hammer on tears to the point that everyone was uncomfortable witnessing it. When he calmed down a bit to catch his breathe and speak, he revealed his heart’s center, “I want to be a better dad.”
Most men want to be good dads and all of us know we can improve. Some us, like Hammer, know some specific thing we need to do, but, down deep, we also know there is more, and that those deeper things are matters we probably need some help seeing and improving. And this is where the men who become great dads are separated from the ones who only wish to be. The men who become great dads, like that father who rose from his seat to leap onto the stage, lay down their pride and take action.
I told Hammer that afternoon, “You can be a better father. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can start today.” Today, let is start for you with one simple new habit: commit to seeking daily wisdom from fathers who have experience. Talkabout Podcasts are perhaps the most accessible start point, and you can build from there, but above all, don’t stay in your seat; jump onto the stage and be strong for your sons, and dance with your daughters.