In the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Derek Redmond believed he could win a silver medal for Great Britain. After five years of daily training and eight operations on his Achilles tendons, Derek had won the first two heats and was running in the semifinals of the 400 meters. Things were going as planned until, coming out of the first turn, he heard a snap and felt a sharp pain in his left leg. Derek went down in a heap on the track as he realized that his left hamstring had exploded, and with it, his dreams of an Olympic medal. He got to his feet and began to run—hop, really—to finish the race. He later said that he was determined to finish and therefore waved off the race officials, who were running toward him with a stretcher.
And then he felt a hand on his shoulder.
Redmond began to push the hand of assistance away until he turned to find himself looking into the face of his father, Jim. When Jim Redmond had seen what had happened to his son, he had pushed his way out of the crowd and onto the track and rushed to tell Derek that he didn’t have to finish. But when Derek insisted that he complete the race, Jim said they would do it together.
Derek cried into Jim’s shoulder as they walked the remainder of the course, and race officials continued to come to their side in an effort to assist the pair. Jim now was the one who waved them off, later saying he didn’t understand Spanish and wasn’t going to be stopped from being with his son.
Our children need to know that we’re there to help them pick up the pieces of their shattered dreams, to tell them that they’re okay, to help them see that failure isn’t final and that when they take their next steps, they will not be alone. Quality time is important. Being actively engaged with our children in their schoolwork or their activities or by simply reading a book is important. But they need quantity time, too, and lots of it. Even if there’s nothing special on the agenda, they need to know that we’ve chosen to be in the room or in the house with them, over all other interest competing for our time.
Along with your children, your wife should be a priority in your life. Here are keys for loving your family well.
1. Be a leader around your home, but lead for the benefit of your wife and children, not for your own benefit.
2. Give your wife breaks from her daily responsibilities.
4. Keep your vows sacred. Sometimes better comes after worse.
5. If you are not married, be careful in selecting a spouse. It is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
6. Be present with your family- emotionally and physically.
7. Be careful what you say and do.
8. Write notes to your children.
9. Honor those in authority over you.
10. Be careful with the authority and influence that you’ve been entrusted with.
11. If you can’t come to grips with your parents and your past, find a professional to walk you through it.