SLR 060: Thoughts On Being A Father

Simple Life Reboot Kids at ChristmasWe are blessed to have four wonderful children.  With Father’s Day just a few days gone, a lot has been on my mind regarding being a father.

When you become a father you surrender the right to be a selfish man.  At first it’s against your will, but as time goes on and you hold, feed, and nurture your child, it becomes a voluntary thing – giving up what you desire for what you desire for your child.

It’s an amazing phenomenon, fatherhood.  It is all about being in permanent love, and happens to result in the voluntary relinquishment of being selfish.  Oh, you still may commit selfish acts, but overall, it is a characteristic no longer within your capacity to sustain.  Think of it…most good fathers, if given the hard choice, would lay down their life to save their child’s life.  That kind of love is powerful stuff.

I was watching the t.v. program, “Meet the Press”, last Sunday, on Father’s Day.  At the end of the show the moderator interviewed Luke Russert, son of Tim Russert, the journalist who had moderated the program 17 years before his untimely death from a heart attack in 2008.  Tim had published a book before his death, entitled, “Big Russ and Me”, about his own father.  Now, Tim’s son, Luke, was on the show to reminisce about his dad and his book, in which Luke had written a new Forward.  Below is a quote from it that says a lot about what kind of father Tim was to Luke.

“It’s true;  the greatest gift my father ever gave me was his time.  Here was a man who worked seven days a week, rarely slept more than six hours a night, and yet I can never remember a time when he wasn’t there for me or didn’t make a Herculean effort to be present.

“…I understand that not all fathers can afford to do that.  Jobs, commitments, etc. don’t always lend themselves to kids being number one all the time.  However, I do know that if a father makes an effort to be there, a kid will always notice and always appreciate it because as a kid you feel loved, wanted, and cared about, and you can’t ask for more than that.”

No Luke, you can’t.  That’s what it’s all about.

Luke has continued in his father’s footsteps, becoming an excellent, fair-minded, hard-hitting journalist in his own right.  What a great testament to his father, and to his father’s father.  It passes down, this love and caring we have for each other.  Yes, being selfless is hard at first, early in fatherhood.  But as you love, the selfless part becomes what you never could have imagined it would become – effortless grace.

“Meet the Press” viewers worldwide loved Tim Russert because he cared.  In many ways it is the same reason our kids love us, simply because we care.

“A righteous father protects his children with his time and presence.”

Howard W. Hunter



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