My Dad, brothers, and I are walking through a golden field of wheat with rolling hills, fishing poles in hand. The only sounds are the meadowlarks chirping, grasshoppers buzzing, and the sound of our feet crunching towards our “secret fishing pond” that’s loaded with large mouth bass.
These are the childhood memories I cherish to this day.
Sure it’s just a field, like any other field in Kansas, with a little cattle pond in the middle. But it is experiences that shape our childhood and help define a father/son relationship. My heart longs to tromp in that field again: “Grampa’s Farm”.
While Bethany and I were courting, we actually visited my parents in Kansas and drove over to hike around Grampa’s Farm. It was different. Going back later in life, I was aware of other things. Such as the heat of the day, how far the pond was, the dangers of an aggressive herd of cattle at pasture, and not to mention the snakes lurking around the grass and pond.
Bethany and I still had a good time on the farm though, shooting skeet, and enjoying the beauty of the countryside. But it got me thinking about my experiences out there as a child. Those dangers were still there back then, yet they didn’t seem like that big of a deal. I felt safe, confident, and free.
That was possible because of my Dad. He knew what time of the day to go so we wouldn’t overheat, he knew how to make a long walk through a typical field become a wild and adventurous hike. He knew how to avoid and navigate a herd of cattle. And he most definitely was well aware of the snakes in the grass and how to protect us.
Guys, there are some major “snakes in the grass” in today’s world too.
There are some major “snakes in the grass” in today’s world too.
They’re lying in wait, ready to strike when we innocently walk by. I know we can all look back on times when we felt safe, protected, confident, and free. And we also can recall times when we were “attacked” and were left injured either mentally, emotionally, or even physically, by the unforeseen. These events in life are inevitable. Are we going to face these challenges alone? If you are a parent/guardian, is your child going to face them alone?
As a father, mother, or mentor, it’s our responsibility to walk through this field together with our children.
We can give them the confidence they need when the going gets tough, warn them of the snakes in the grass and help them take the necessary precautions.
Take the time to speak into your child’s life. Enjoy the highs and lows. Earn the right to be heard and respected. Show them how to walk through this life and where to walk.
You might be wondering, “how and where do I start?” Well, God’s Word is a wonderful place to begin! It’s packed with wisdom and guidance to share with your family. The Psalms and Proverbs are an easy place to start together and a good way to get some discussions going.
If you’re looking for some more resources to work through, Bethany and I highly recommend going through our Unstoppable Life Courses as a family. These courses fuel awesome discussions and intentional time working through life-giving topics.
Fathers, I’ve been reading “The Intentional Father” by Jon Tyson and I highly recommend it. It’s an awesome resource and incredibly empowering to fathers to really step into their roles and raise strong, brave, and confident young men.
Ultimately, I’m encouraging you to enjoy the life that God has blessed you with. Enjoy the role as a parent that God has given you and walk through this field of life confidently with your kids. It’s never too late to start investing and speaking into lives of those you love.