The Second Fundamental of a Long Obedience

In my last post, I mentioned to you that we as dads should exercise A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (title of a great book by Eugene Peterson). I highlighted that this long obedience involved three fundamentals. The first one we looked at is to show your child unconditional love.

Today our focus in on PATIENCE. (next post will be perseverance). Patience is a tough challenge for many dads because men are prone to want instant solutions – instant obedience.

But a child is not wired to give us instant results or instant obedience. At times, they will – but in most of our journey with our child we will experience times of great frustration that something is not “going right”.

In these times, when we are tempted to get angry, discouraged, or bitter, just ask yourself: “Do I always come through with the results that others want, finishing the task before me on time?

Hopefully, when you recognize that all people fall short, you will cut your child some slack. You will say to yourself, “Just have patience. Encourage them to do better next time – to give it their best shot.”

Each time you exercise such patience, you are building a more solid and close relationship with your child.

The Fathering Journey – A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

It Starts with Unconditional Love

The longer I go on the fathering journey (39 years and counting), the fundamentals come into sharper focus: Love. Patience. Perseverance

Dad, how well are you doing in those three areas? If you can really exercise and demonstrate those to your chidlren, YOU WILL BE A GREAT DAD TO THEM.

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction is a book by Eugene Peterson. While this book primarily refers to one’s walk with God over life’s journey, I believe that the phrase can equally apply to our lives as dads – being a Great Dad is exercising a long obediience in the same direction.

Obedient to what? First and foremost, to God. Going beyond this foundational relationship, we as dads are to be obedient to the emphatic call upon us to show unconditional love. That is Basic #1 in our 6 Basics of Being a Great Dad training.

How can you show your child unconditional love? We say there are four key ways: see each child as a unique child of God; build them up; discipline them well; and give each one a blessing.

Always remember that God loves you in and through all the things you do that don’t live up to His standards – things that disappoint but never diminish the love He has for you. Show that same love to each of your children.

We will look at Patience in my next post.