Case Keenum had a magical season last year as the quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. However, he’s been a leader and a winner all his life, and he’s demonstrated those qualities since he was a young athlete. And he’s done it not just during the record-breaking performances and the championship seasons, but in the disappointing times as well. He kept the same upbeat attitude when he wasn’t highly recruited coming out of high school and when he got injured. When he wasn’t drafted coming out of college, he didn’t get down but just became more determined to prove the experts wrong. But the first two years of his NFL career provided nothing but disappointments.
Through it all, though, he never lost his desire or his belief in his abilities. Where does that type of attitude come from? In his new book Playing for More, I learned that attitude came from many sources. One of my favorite parts of the book and one of the sources of Case’s strength is his father. Case describes his father as a model of manhood. Yet, his dad grew up without a father. How did a boy without a dad in his life grow up to be a good father and a model for manhood? Here are 5 ways to be a good father even when yours wasn’t.
One of the best places to start is with forgiveness. You need to forgive your dad and others who have hurt you. Eventually, Case’s dad wanted his children to know their grandfather. He had plenty of reasons to keep his father away from his family. However, he decided to forgive his dad and introduce a relationship between his dad and his dad’ grandkids. It ended up being a blessing to everyone.
2. Find a Model
If you don’t have a model for fatherhood then find one. Look for a mentor. Case’s dad chose the very best example of a good Father as his model. He began a relationship with Jesus Christ and looked to God as his model. That unconditional love, presence, and faithfulness that God offers us has been his model for his relationships and fatherhood.
3. Do Things Differently
If you saw a bad model of fatherhood then do the opposite of what was done to you. The last thing you want to do is continue bad habits. For the good of the next generation, flip the script upside down. You may not have been shown what to do, but at least you know what not to do.
4. Be There and Provide for Your Kids
One of the greatest gifts you can give is to simply be there for your kids and provide what you can. That provision is not just financial, it’s your loving support and wisdom. Go to their activities, games, and performances. Be available when they want to ask you questions and talk. Take an interest in what they are passionate about and learn about it.
5. Love Unconditionally
Let them know that there is nothing they can do to earn your love. Give it freely, whether they are successful or come up short, whether they are obedient or rebellious. Give them your unwavering loving support, discipline, and grace.