Posts Tagged ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’

As a father who does not live with my two biological kids, I am very mindful of the effect that my abscence could have on them. I could be like one of those dead beat Dads who are nothing more than a sperm donor, or I can do my best to try to be as active as I can in their lives even though I am not always physically there, to try and support them in every way but at the same time still trying to show boundaries. I have chosen the latter but admittedly when the boundaries are different in different homes, it can be hard to enforce and if anything, can be confusing for the child because those boundaries are not clear and consistent. Its especially hard when one is a Christian and the other is not.

For example, when my relationship with their mum broke down, my goal was to still to make sure that the children didn’t receive two different messages from us so that they could play one against the other or that the child felt justified in their actions because ‘Mum or Dad said so’. Even if we disagreed, I wanted us to talk about things ‘behind the scenes’ so that their was a consistent message in front of them.

The reality is things did not work out like that and as much as I wanted us to be at least amicable for the sake of the kids, for various reasons, it was not possible. The end result is that over the past few years, as I have mentioned in posts such as The Pursuit of Happyness and When your children don’t want to follow God, my relationship with my daughter has been, let’s say, less than perfect.

I love my daughter to bits and have always wanted to be there for her. I remember when she was young and I used to make sure that I consciously went out of my way to spend quality time with her, taking her swimming, going to the park as well as other places. I miss that quality time that can so easily be taken for granted when you live with your child.

However, when a father refuses to be in their child’s life, the consequences can be disastrous. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of a girl who wrote a letter to the man who left her behind

When I watched this, it tore at my heartstrings because I never want my daughter to ever feel like that. I will always make sure that I do as much as I can and what is in my power, to keep in contact with her on my side so that when she grows older, she could never say that I have never tried to remain in contact and mantain a relationship with her

If you are a father who has deserted your child for whatever reason, or maybe you are not active in their life, you probably dont realise how much psycholgical damage you may have inflicted on your child and they may justifably be angry with you. It may not always show on the outside but inside, they are hurting. Make a conscious decision today to do something to ‘kick things off’. Depending on the situation what you do will vary and it will be hard for some and easier for others but try something. That may mean a phone call, it may mean sending them a card, it may mean giving them flowers, it may mean taking your child out for a one to one talk, but whatever you do, don’t give up on them. They may not always say so or express it outwardly, but inside, a lot of them WANT a meaningful relationship with you. Sometimes the mother may have filled their mind with negativity so that they cannot see the positive things that you are trying to do but do what YOU have to do and whatever is in YOUR control. Show them that you love them and care for them and that they are always on your mind. Children need their Daddys in their life.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18)

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Col 3:21)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

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I know I am very late but a few weeks ago, I watched that great theological film ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’. The synposis reads as follows:

Will Smith stars in this moving tale inspired by a true story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman who’s struggling to make ends meet. When his girlfriend Linda (Thandie Newton) walks out, Chris is left to raise their 5-year old son Christopher (Jaden Smith) on his own. Chris’ determination finally pays off when he lands an unpaid internship in a brutally competitive stockbroker-training program, where only twenty interns will make the cut. But without a salary, Chris and his son are evicted from their apartment and are forced to sleep on the streets, in homeless shelters and even behind the locked doors of a metro station bathroom. With self confidence and the love and trust of his son, Chris Gardner rises above his obstacles to become a Wall Street legend.

I absolutely loved the film. For some reason though at certain points, I’m sure someone brought some onions in the room because my eyes were watering 😉

As a father who does not live with his children but lives for his children, the film struck a chord with me and made me realise how my kids are my world. I understand that my ultimate goal for them is to point them to Christ so that they can receive salvation. I am still grateful for the parenting course that I attended at my church. However I realise that that no matter how good a parent you are, there is still no guarantee that your children will turn out to be angels because of their sinful nature. I mean who is the best ‘parent’ around? Isnt it God and look how we are. Disobedient and rebellious. So parents, don’t always keep beating yourself up if your children go off the rails even though you have trained them up in the ways of the Lord.

At the moment, myself and my soon to be 15 year old daughter are not on the best of terms and she has decided not to stay with me for two weeks during the summer holidays so it is just me and my son. I am asking God for wisdom in dealing with this situation as its not nice and it’s very awkward at the moment.

For me, I never under-estimate how important the job of a parent is, especially in the early years and like Chris Gardner in the film, I want my children growing up knowing that I did everything possible as a parent to give them the best in life in every way and that includes spiritually