Set an Example Worth Following

I want to give you guys a quote today from the inventor Charles Kettering. He invented the Freon, so he could-

I saw this on the Google doc real quick. What is Freon? Isn’t that the stuff you put in your car? 

… Exactly. Yeah. He was a really cool guy. 

Yeah, for air conditioning or whatever. 

Yeah, I’m dropping the dad joke. 

Yeah, yeah. Oh, touchee. I missed that. I missed that. At first, I thought you were just plugging how awesome he was. Okay. That was over my head. That is awesome.

He is awesome. My quality of life in the summer is… and yours in Maui probably is totally dependent on this poor guy.

Not only was he a great inventor, he also was a good thinker, at least on fatherhood. He said… This is a quote. “Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.” One of the things, you guys, that when you think about really growing in your role as a dad, a lot of times, we can talk about tips and tricks and hacks and all of these things. They’re all super valuable, and we’re going to talk about it, a lot of those, in the course of the Five Minute Fatherhood. But we really want to also give some airtime to man, your kids are going to be so much more impacted by who you are than anything else. It’s really important, you guys, that you develop your own character, that you pursue the Lord in your own discipleship, that you work on areas of your life, that are weak or that are damaging your relationships.

All of those things are going to pay massive dividends for your children, for the future. There’s another quote that says that, “Your actions are screaming so loud. I can’t hear a word you say.” I think that that is the way a lot of kids relate to their dads. I think it’s a great quote. It’s really important to keep this in mind. It’s really important to see that when you invest in your own growth, you are investing in your children. These things are so intricately linked, that it’s important never to disentangle them. But yeah. What are your thoughts on that?

Yeah, well, I mean, I think specifically with the Family Team stuff and thinking about sports and the analogy that you always hear in sports is… anywhere, I guess business, or wherever, is the culture or DNA or all these different things. It’s caught, not taught. There is a level at which, when there’s such proximity and there’s such intimacy over two decades, three decades, even longer obviously. Once a kid that leaves the home, is still connected in relationship, that actually is, in essence, the thing where they have the ability to see you closer than anyone else. That’s the thing that’ll speak to them, not the words. Because the words can be a lecture on a Sunday, if that’s your job or something like that. Anyone can hear, so the special access that your kids get, actually, in some sense, isn’t your words. It’s actually your life. 

That’s actually the more intimate access they get, that’s special about them. You want that to then actually support the words, not negate the words. I think, yeah, we have to always be really sensitive that. No one’s calling us to be perfect, well in some sense, the scriptures are, but Jesus fulfills that and calls us into that. What I mean by that, you will mess up. You won’t be a perfect example with your actions. But I also think, have humility and have repentance. Be there specifically when the kids are older, and they can actually understand it in a true relational way. Because I know a lot of friends who they actually talk about their dads or even their moms and their weaknesses, in a really beautiful way. They very much see it for what it is and understand it.

Every time I hear a person talk like that about their parents, I can almost always tell, by how they’re talking, that it’s based on how the parent treated that weakness. You know what I mean? Basically, the parent was really open and honest of like, “Hey, I’m working. The Lord’s doing this in me,” to my son. They’d say, “This is something that I’m working on.” Then there was kind of a humility in their heart, about their own, rather than almost trying to shell themselves off to their kids and let the kids never see the weakness. I think that’s one little caveat to that conversation of, that it’s not even necessarily about the… It is about the action, but then even one step farther, it’s not necessarily even about just the action. But then also if you are negating your words, it’s very much about how you respond to that and how you reach… and kind of your spirit and demeanor in that, which then I would add then actually as a supporting thing of those actions, then are the things that are speaking loud. 

It’s kind of as this circle. But yeah, I think this is truer, more than we can think and specifically in our culture, we also have to give weight to the fact that cultural currency, we hold authenticity and anti-hypocrisy in the highest regard in our culture, more than any other culture has in history. We have to be weary of that, of actually stepping into that pressure, but in a good way, I think. 

Man, our culture will let you speak and will, I think, let you talk, if you are the same person outside or inside, and very much integrity-filled, in the light and good character. I do believe our culture holds out in high regard, which is kind of a cool part about that. Higher standard, but then also allows you to speak when your actions are there. That’s what we would encourage you guys and you dads with today, is just take a look and actually assess, man, what is my life actually speaking? Is it going the trajectory I want and doing and creating the home and culture I want?

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