The Weight of a Father

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I’m getting to that age when it’s now recommended I see the physician annually for a “checkup”. Boy, it’s hard to admit I’ve arrived at that point in my life. I remember doing things and not even considering the potential consequences. I would ask my body to do something and it didn’t respond back, “Are you sure you want to do overweight-manthis?” I’m in relatively good health. Blood pressure and cholesterol run a little higher than I or my doctor would like. About 30 lbs overweight but pretty active and working on losing the extra weight.

NBC’s The Biggest Loser is one of the few shows our family watches regularly. In the skein of reality shows, it’s one of the few that promote something redeeming for participant and viewer alike and that don’t use the humiliation of people as the entertainment value. It’s amazing to watch the weight melt off of the contestants week after week. Every season the impact of carrying excess weight on virtually every other aspect of health related problems is evidenced. The loss of weight is tantamount to reducing or alleviating so many other symptoms of illness; diabetes, back and joint problems, high blood pressure and cholesterol and a slew of others. Living a long and healthy life is almost always directly related to shedding excess weight.

Being a father carries its own weight. Do you feel it, dad? Sometimes we want to shed the weight of being a dad like we want to lose pounds off the middle. But this is a weight we aren’t supposed to lose. We are reminded in song, verse and life that our kids are watching us. Rodney Atkins has a great music video about his 4 year old son both swearing and praying as a result of watching his dad. That’s a heavy 42-18216588thought, isn’t it? My kids are really no longer kids. At 21, 19 and 17 yrs of age, they have seen me in action thousands of days and in thousands of circumstances. Sometimes they caught what I did NOT want taught. Sometimes I got it right and modeled for them well. I know I haven’t always done it perfectly but I’ve always been aware that they are right there, even when they weren’t. Being a dad and living so that the next generation knows how to live well is a weighty responsibility.

So, what things are you modeling or have you modeled to your kids that you prefer they not catch?  Or, on the flip side, what are you hoping they catch from your model?  These are good questions for us to consider each day. Not only does God have an interest in our daily conduct, but it’s imperative for our kids to see a life modeled well for them to even have a chance in this ever challenging world of ideals and changing values. They can’t live out what they don’t see lived. Notice, I didn’t say, “lived perfectly”. It’s not perfection they need modeled, but rather INTENTion. Ultimately, what matters for their sake is that we took the responsibility of being a dad seriously and carried the weight well.

So, while I intend on losing the 30lbs of excess weight in 2009, I also intend on carrying the weight of being a dad as a king carries the responsibility of leading a kingdom. How about you? Will you carry the weight of being a dad without the burden? Being a dad is a high calling. But, dad, remember that you don’t carry it alone. We have a loving Father who carries your burdens and asks you to give them to Him daily. Don’t run from the weight of fathering. Embrace it as the most important role you play. Pssst…as an aside, consider losing those pounds off the middle…your kids need you around as long as possible 😉

SOUND OFF: When you consider your role as a dad, what has been the most important lesson you’ve modeled (either good or bad) and how have you built that lesson into your children’s lives?

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6 Responses to “The Weight of a Father”

  1. Mocha Dad Says:

    Being a dad is the highest calling I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  2. Jeff Abramovitz Says:

    Thanks for “weighing” in, Mocha Dad. Couldn’t agree with you more. Now, there are days :-)…but when you string the days together, nothing compares. Now, I wasn’t quite there today when I got a text from my 17 yr old daughter that began, “Daddy, I just got a speeding ticket…”. 🙂

  3. sean malarkey Says:

    The most important lesson Ive learned is “to walk the walk”. I know my kids will model me eventually – My daughters will look for me in a husband at some point. So I be the guy I want them to have, I treat my wife with dignity and respect. I treat my wife they way I would want them to be treated.

    My goal is to be the prefect dad. I know I wont ever be perfect, but reminding myself daily that every action I take affects them in some way, makes me want to be the best person I can be.

    Sean

  4. Brad LaTour Says:

    Love this post! This is exactly what I’ve been blogging about on my site, http://www.heydadlosethegut.com. I’ve got 3 little girls and they inspired me to lose 50 pounds. Now I’m trying to motivate and coach other dads to lose weight and become healthy role models for their children. As part of this, I’ve started the 1 Million Pound Father’s Day Challenge and am putting together groups of dads around the country whose collective goal is to lose 1 million pounds by Father’s Day 2011. Take a look at my blog when you have some time – sounds like there is a lot of commonality with what you’re writing about!

  5. Jeff Abramovitz Says:

    Thanks for the comment…that’s a great project. And, congratulations on losing 50 lbs! I bet it’s changed your life in many ways! Way to go. That is a great testimony. I’ll check out your blog and see if we can’t get dads to get fit in ’11!

  6. Father not Fat-ter « DadPad Says:

    […] I wrote about why it’s important for dads to take care of themselves physically (see my post, The Weight of a Father).  He found that post and shared with me how he had lost 50 lbs (way to go!!) and was beginning a […]

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