Posted: April 1, 2011 in Father's Day Friday, Fathering

Father’s Day Friday Post. This post is written about fathering young people that don’t have person in their life that is a natural father. There’s a father gap that needs filled in this generation. I posted last week (click here the read) about the importance that this position has become in my life and ministry. Every friday will be a post about fathering those that aren’t your “natural kids” but yours kids none-the-less.

Fathering like any relationship takes time and effort. Both at home with your natural children and with the kids that see you as “dad.” One of the greatest tools I found to develop this type of relationship is the ability to simply “be there.” It’s taken literally years of going to games, being a ride home from church, praying at the altars, just being around for me to develop the father relationship I have with certain students. For some students it happens fast. Immediately there’s a connection and they are hooked to you because they are so desperate for that void in their lives to be filled. But typically it takes a while to get there because for a lot of students there is such a wall that has been built up from past hurts, let downs and problems that they don’t trust you enough to let you in right away. No matter how pure your motives. How much you love them. How much you care. Sometimes, no matter how bad you want that relationship it to form quickly it just won’t.

There are a lot of things you can “be” to try and speed up the process… “be cool” “be funny” “be down” “be real” whatever but perhaps the greatest “BE” I’ve found to show a kid you’re really “in it” for them is to simply “BE THERE.” Be where? Wherever that student will let you go. Some will start with a “what’s up?” and that’s as close as you can be for a while. Some will let you in closer. I don’t mean become “the stalker” and follow them everywhere like the guy trying too hard. Cause kids can pick up on that and it just makes it harder for you. (been there… done that) Just be there… maybe at a distance for a little while but still there.  Sports games. Classrooms. Dramas. Musicals. Wherever. Over time it will let them know that maybe they haven’t had people there for them in the past but you’re different. Why? Because you’re there.

Right now at home it seems nothing means more to my son than for me playing basketball with his little 6 foot basketball fisher price goal. Every free second “Dad, let’s go play.” It’s not the hoop that’s amazing. Or that we have an amazing basketball court. I mean its a plastic hoop on carpet floors. It’s that I’m there with him doing something he loves. Whenever he has a tee-ball game or something at school or catching a fish the most important thing to him is that me and my wife are there. It’s no different with those kids that I’ve come to be “dad” to. They just want me there. Not because I’m anything special but because God has allowed me to be the one that’s there and has been there.

The most important “be” you can be is there. At the end of the day nothing matters more to a kid than to know that no matter what my parent is going to “be there”. Good or bad I know they are there for me.

Last thing. I’ll share a conversation I had with one of “my sons” last night via text… this kid is a phenomenal athlete and if you saw him and me together in the physical there nothing that says father/son about us but I have the honor of being “dad” in his life. So, I heard he had a basketball game in town last night so I text him to get the details on the game. He was a little slow in responding for whatever reason so I was kind of iffy on whether he wanted me to go. An hour and a half before the game my phone buzzes with a text from him “Are you coming?” I said “Yea. That cool? He answered back “Yea it is very cool.” After that there wasn’t anything keeping me from being there.

Kids want fathers. They need fathers. If you don’t know what to do… start by just being there.

  1. […] BE THERE. GOOD TO KNOW […]

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