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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: What Makes a Great Dad

By Ken Horn
June 16, 2013

A few months ago, my wife, Peggy, went to the funeral of a man who had been a regular at the senior center where she was the administrator. She was impressed by something his son said about him during the service.

The son said he could count on the fingers of one hand the number of his competitive games and other school events his dad had missed. When the son went off to college 150 miles away, it would have been understandable for his dad to ease up on that record. But instead, his dad went the extra mile. After work on game days, the man would drive the 150 miles to see his son play. When the game was over he would wait to shake his hand and say, “Good job, son.” Then the father would drive 150 miles home and be at work the next day.

Now that’s a great dad. And it left an indelible impression on his son.

A friend in the after-work basketball group I play in missed several of our sessions but returned recently. When I told my friend we had been missing him, he explained that the scheduling of his daughter’s games had been the conflict. My friend picked his daughter over basketball. He chose the right priority.

Yes, it can be hard to be a great dad. But that’s all the more reason to do the easy things ... like being a spectator for your child’s activities if at all possible (though driving 300 miles on a work night certainly shouldn’t be expected).

And don’t forget the second part of that: “Good job, son [or daughter].” Even a small compliment from a father can make a child swell with pride and feel more confident. This is also one of the easiest things a father can do to strengthen his relationship with a son or daughter.

An even easier, high-yield action is related: listen to your kids. Look them in the eye and let them see you are interested in the things that matter to them.

Small things like these give a father the credibility to influence children in the deeper things of life, like the importance of their relationship with Jesus Christ. Being faithful in small things will translate into influence in large ones with your child (Luke 16:10; Proverbs 22:6).

Ken Horn

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