Coach Yoast was furious. The referees made a series of calls favoring the other team, and his defense was being beaten. He couldn’t persuade the referees, but he knew it was time to challenge and fire up his players. He called them to gather around. Turning to one of his best players, he said, “Petey, don’t you drift to the strong side, you hear?” Immediately, Petey blamed the refs: “They’re calling a holding penalty on me every time.” Yoast looks Petey squarely in the eyes and says, “Did I ask for your excuses? You wanna act like a star, you better give me a star effort. Do you hear me?”
What’s your favorite sports movie? It’s tough for me to choose, but one of my favorites is Remember the Titans. In it, Yoast challenges Petey, and Petey takes his helmet off and storms away. Some dads do this. When things get difficult, they bail. But being an All Pro Dad means giving an all pro effort. Our dad responsibilities mean we give to our kids, no excuses, and nothing short of excellence. Here are 5 things being a dad requires you to give.
1. Your Best Effort
We all get tired and can be tempted to dial it in. Don’t give in to those feelings. Your kids deserve your best. You have a limited time with your kids before they head out into the world. As Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Leave it all on the field. Give your kids everything you’ve you got, and your work will be rewarded.Your kids deserve your best.
2. Your Wisdom
My mom gave me some great advice one day when I was scolding my children harshly. She said, “Take it easy. They just got here.” She meant they’re learning how to do life. Even if you have a teen, they still don’t know much and have many years before they are fully developed. Job 12:12 says, “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.” Your kids don’t have that yet. You, on the other hand, have years of experience and wisdom to give.
3. Your Resources
I’ll never forget my older cousin telling me when I was a bachelor in my mid-twenties how much kids cost. They do cost a lot, but giving those resources for our kids is a worthy investment. Being a good dad is not about giving our kids everything they desire but giving them all that is good for them. Often, that results in putting aside our own wants and desires for theirs.
4. Your Sacrifice
Jesus devoted his entire life to sacrifice, and today, his life is considered one of the greatest ever lived. He’s on the cover of Time and Newsweek every year, two thousand years after his death. And yet, Mark 10:45 says this about him: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” We sacrifice for those we love and our kids see it. If we want to meet our dad responsibilities and live a life of significance, we need to give our lives away for the betterment of others, especially our kids.
5. Your Unconditional Love
We can’t let our kids think our love for them is based on how they perform for us. Otherwise, they will think their value comes from their performance. In John 15:12, Jesus tells people to “love each other as I have loved you.” How did he love us? Despite all our faults, self-focus, and shortcomings, he loves us fully and unconditionally. We need to give our kids the same type of love.
Sound off: What else do our dad responsibilities require us to give?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is the best thing I have ever given you?”