The priority of fatherhood

priority_fatherhood_headerEngaging with your children is a daily discipline

| by Kirk Giles

It was almost one year ago when Don Simmonds and his team from Crossroads Communications first approached me about the potential of partnering with them to bring the movie Courageous to theatres across Canada. We were already well aware of the importance of the theme of this movie. It was very exciting to encourage men across Canada to view Courageous and bring their friends and neighbours to see it.

As we look back on the past year, it would be fair to say that Courageous far exceeded our expectations. I have heard so many stories of how this movie has been used to bring the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus, and to encourage and challenge fathers across the country.

Our prayer is that this message does not end now.

Fathers are such an important part in the success of children, the family, churches and communities. It would be easy to watch a movie and just talk about how good it was. Instead, we can keep the message going; understanding how important fathers are. In every city we visit, we hear over and over about the damage that is done by absent fathers and the strength that is brought when men are actively present and involved in the lives of their children. As men, we have to recognize that children have been entrusted to us, and that there is no greater responsibility or privilege than to be a father.

One of the most difficult moments of every day comes when I have to transition from being at work to being at home. The conversations are different, and the energy required is different. There are many days when I know it would be easier to sit on the couch in front of the television and ignore everyone else. There are other days when I have to run to a meeting in the evening and seeing my family is like a pit stop in a car race.

It is a daily discipline to choose to engage in the life of my children. They do not always come to me; I need to go to them. I have to choose to ask them questions about their day, and I have to choose to follow up with them on how certain tests, friendships or other challenges are going.

We must not allow the priority of fatherhood to just simply be something we nod in agreement with when we watch a movie or read a magazine like this one. As men, we must intentionally choose to connect and invest in the lives of our children and grandchildren. When we do this, we not only become great fathers, but we also begin to give our children a glimpse of what God the Father is like.

Kirk Giles is the president of Promise Keepers Canada. However, his most important roles as a man are husband to Shannon and father to Carter, Joshua, Sydney and Samuel.

The article above is featured in the special July/August 2012 issue of SEVEN magazine.