Let’s face it. A father needs big shoulders. Many responsibilities…pressures…demands. Most men I know seem genetically wired with a tremendous sense of responsibility for protecting and providing for their families.
Are you a dad? Then I’ll bet you know what I mean.
The day to day pressures of life can seem overwhelming. The tyranny of the urgent so often outweighs the longer term, more “important” things. How do you even think about your legacy when you’re not sure if you can pay this month’s bills?
It’s possible. It requires making a conscious choice. And you can do it.
Meet Eric Hill. I was fortunate enough to be under Eric’s leadership as part of a team that served in Uganda last fall. There are lots of things that I value and respect about Eric, but none more than the way he loves his three beautiful daughters.
Earlier this year, Eric took the time to write letters of encouragement and affirmation to each of his daughters. They were one page letters which focused on the special character qualities, gifts and abilities in each girl. Each daughter, special in her own unique way. Each one, given a written affirmation of her dad’s love for her and belief in her. Eric used the occasion of a Father/Daughter Dance to present his girls with their letters.
Adeline, Julia, and Lily Claire Hill are three of the most joyful, secure, and delightful young ladies I know. That doesn’t happen by accident. Yes, they have an amazing mother and a strong and supportive extended family. But there’s something about being totally secure in a father’s love that gives unique strength to a child. And what better way for a child to understand the loving, protective and affirming nature of their Heavenly Father than to see it modeled, day to day, by their earthly daddy?
Men, I urge you to carve out some time this weekend to write letters to your children. If you need help, download a PDF version of Leave Nothing Unsaid from my web site. It’s easy to follow, and will take you step-by-step through the letter writing process. It will teach you to “speak” the language of affirmation to those you love.
This matters. Today. Your sincere, specific, written encouragement to your children is a priceless gift they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
Have you ever received a letter like this from your father? What impact has it had on your life?