Most fathers I know are not intent on ruining the lives of their daughters. Certainly, I am not. I have realised, however, that certain patterns of behaviour, left unchecked, might leave indelible scars on my three. Some things we do become habitual. We fall into ruts and ruts too easily become comfortable. And ruts too easily ruin lives.
My impatience, left unchecked, might hinder them coming to me when it matters the most because the last thing they want in a time of crisis is a dad who refuses to take the time to understand.
It’s so easy for work and home life to become a mingled mess where lines between the two cannot be drawn. Might this trend communicate to them, over time, that the hundred-and-one things on my to-do list make them one hundred and two or three or four?
Might my laziness, a rut of ease, allow them the freedom to ignore their calling and passions?
When I say I love Jesus but none of his revolutionary ways are seen in the way I live my life, what does that say about faith in Him?
When these girls cannot see my deep love for their mother, my wife, what does this teach them about fidelity and love and lifelong commitment?
When I keep saying sorry about the same thing and doing nothing to change it, will they learn that I’m not a man of my word?
So, here’s to avoiding the ruts and carving new paths: ones that will speak and breathe life.