4 Things Dads Want From Their Kids
(This article is featured in the One21 Magazine, Issue 3. Rick Moore is a seasoned ministry veteran, a father, husband, and church pastor. You can find him on twitter @thirdram.)
Almost twenty years ago I took my first part time youth ministry. I was nineteen and thought I knew it all. A group of parents let their students listen to my teaching each week, as I taught about following Jesus and what it looked like in 1994. I gave my best shot at helping students be the best Christ followers they could be. Some of those lessons included how to be the best sons and daughters they could for their moms and dads. The problem was, I knew nothing about what moms and dads wanted or needed from their Christ following children…Then 4 years later I was holding a beautiful baby girl realizinghow much I didn’t know.
Now, I’m twice as old, I pastor to adults, but most importantly I’m dad to Hannah (15), Rebekah (13), Leah (8) and Rickie (5). Here’s four things I’ve learned every dad wants from his kids. (whether he knows how to tell you or not)
1. Respect your Mom
The woman that you call mom is the same one I fell in love with and as gross as it may be to you, that’s the reason you are here. When you talk back to her, give her snide comments or even roll your eyes at her, inside me the switch flips and I change from the dad who loves you both to the Knight on a white horse who has sworn to protect his beautiful maiden. Nothing makes a dad more proud then to hear the words “yes, mom” “Ok, mom” “I will, mom” and “I love you, mom” said without sarcasm from his kids.
2. Laugh at My Jokes (cue laughter)
Whether you believe it or not, dad used to be halfway if not all the way cool. He has the letterman’s jacket,picture of the car, or college acceptance letter to prove it. Ask him and he will tell you about how cool he was. He used to be something, that’s why mom chose not just hang out with him but to let him father her children. He likes to think he still has it every now and then. His silly stories and jokes are attempts to get you to see that. . . .A little laugh or smile isn’t to much to ask is it?
3. Always Give Your Best
Nothing makes a dad prouder than to see his kids do well. We know everyone can’t be the next Lebron James or Einstein. What we do know is when you are just skating by. Dad is your biggest fan, I want help you achieve your goals, to be a foundation that you can stand on and to cheer for even your smallest victory. I’m not expecting you to do everything perfectly, just for you to do the best you can.
4. Love Jesus in a Big Way
Seeing you commit to following Jesus makes me prouder than you can imagine. Seeing you do something big and crazy because you love Jesus will make my heart burst with pride. Love Jesus, follow Him. He has bigger plans then either you or I could dream up for you. Make a move for Him, I’ll have your back…But your Heavenly Father has you in His hand.
One last thought, as I write this I realize that some of you are reading it from a different place. It might be a place where dad left mom, or mom left dad. It might be a place of conflict or abandon. I just read this again from a heart that wants you to have all that you deserve. My heart aches for you, my soul hearts for you. I write this to you on behalf of the God who invites you to call him Father. He wants these things for you and from you too. He will dote on you more than I can even dote on my own kids. Know that your parents, as messy as their lives are, never wanted you to be a casualty to their mess. God didn’t either. Your father in heaven is doting on you even now as you read this.