Charles Francis Adams, the 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: “Went fishing with my son today—a day wasted.”
His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: “Went fishing with my father—the most wonderful day of my life!”
The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as a time that he treasured.
Not unusual that the father or a parent would see spending time with their child as a “waste” or “nothing gained”, but in the mind of their child, the greatest time ever! Fathers and children don’t always understand each other, that is an understatement!
So what if every father was given the ability to read and understand their child’s mind and feelings, would that make father’s the perfect parent? If a father could read his child’s mind and know what their child likes and hates, would that lead a father to do everything right, thus the perfect father!
In some way, yes, that father would be able to know what their child desired, but there the other side of the sword. That father could be arrogant and monstrous, because when any human being believes they are all knowing and perfect, that “perfect” father will lack many things. Thus a “perfect”, all knowing father will be lacking. Like humility, when a human being is all knowing, what becomes of their desire to listen, not only their child, but to God! How about forgiveness, it says in Eph. 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” If one does not know the idea of making a mistake and seeking to be forgiven, can they so easily forgive their child!
How about the idea of perseverance; the quality or character trait that is built through the endurance of others inflicting pain and suffering on you!
Rom. 5:3 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.”
I bring this false narrative of being a perfect parent to your attention, because it is not possible, nor is it ideal. It is not ideal because in one way if your were to be pall knowing, but in another way you will become a terrible parent. Tell me how many of you liked to hear your parents say “I told you so” or the derivative of it “I’m always right!”
What our children want are Fathers who try! Fathers who try to live Godly lives, who try to help with their homework, who try to spend time with them! And inevitably when we make mistakes admit we make mistakes. It makes us fathers, who are sinners, in need of Jesus Christ everyday.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
The key word being “imitators”, a good father imitates because they are humble enough to know that he cannot do it himself. Be a good dad, imitate!