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Fatherhood: The Power of Showing Up

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“My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” - Clarence Budington Kelland

Home Reserve’s core mission revolves around one thing: Family. As you might have guessed, this 18 year-old company is composed of many employees who deeply value their own families. We first heard about the heart behind Home Reserve when the founder, Blaine Wieland, shared his story.

Now, we’re going to give the microphone to four different fathers in our community. In this special piece, we've highlighted firsthand stories of how these fathers lead their families with intentionality and how you can too. 

Why talk about fatherhood? First, we believe in your family and want to do what we can to help you succeed. Second, we’ve done the research and understand the prevalent struggles many dads in America face each day. A Pew Research study listed examples such as:

  • Finding a healthy work-family balance.
  • The pressure of financially providing for the family.
  • Not having enough time with their children.

We’d also add the daily mental, emotional, and physical support of a father is a challenge that is vitally important. One report from Fatherhood.gov helps to paint the picture, “The presence of a responsible father improves academic performance and reduces disciplinary problems among children.”

Now let’s see what some experienced fathers have to say about this.

 

Meet the Fathers

We’re going to hear from four different men with four totally different viewpoints, experiences, and words of wisdom. Let’s get to know the men.

Jack

Jack is a retired business owner and a father of five children. In a recent email interview, he introduced us to his children: “Jake is 31, Jamie is 29, Jesse is 26, Jacki is 20, and Jordan is deceased.” 

Brian

Brian works as a conflict engineer and counselor. He is the father of four children who are 28, 27, 22, and 18.

Toby

Toby is a web developer by trade and is the father of five children who are 8, 6, 4, 2, and 1.

Brandon

Brandon is a marketing director and a father of three children who are 7, 5, and 3.

 

 

We sent some questions to each of these fathers specifically about what “showing up” has meant in their lives. Let’s check out their responses.

Home Reserve: We're discussing the idea of consistently "showing up" for one's family. This means showing up literally, mentally, emotionally, etc. Can you share an example of when you try to intentionally show up for your family?

Jack: As a man who grew up without a father, I understood the deficit and longing to have a father. This motivated me to engage myself in every aspect of my children’s life, especially spiritually.

Brian: I pray for each member of my family regularly. This is a daily privilege.

Toby: Any time I drive my kids somewhere or sit down at a meal with them or just generally have some time that I’ve stepped away from work or chores, I make a concerted effort to give my kids a question that is very open-ended. Something where they know for sure there is no wrong answer. Something that helps me hear who they are and what they want in their life.

Brandon: For me, showing up is making sure I’m a part of my kids’ life - the good, bad, the milestones, and the day to day. It’s about being both present and available. Sometimes my kids want me to enter into their world and connect with them on their level, but most of the time they just want to be a part of something I’m doing. 

My most recent example of this was allowing them to help me tune up my lawn mower. My kids are young, and I knew I wanted to involve them, so it took some intentional planning. I went ahead of them and loosened up the spark plugs, valve caps, and hose clamps so they could easily participate, learn, and be left with a feeling of accomplishment. When I take the time to make these kinds of deposits into my kids, I can see a drastic difference in their person.

 

 

Home Reserve: Why do you think it's important for fathers, specifically, to keep "showing up" for their families?

Jack: A father provides an enormous sense of strength and security for the family. He also provides an example of leadership and godliness.

Brian: When fathers fail to show up, they create a void in that place where they are meant to lead. Something or someone else will show up to fill the void that was intended to be filled by the father.

Toby: Aside from the plethora of studies that have been done that show the importance of Dad “being there,” dads are who kids look to first for an example of strength, leadership, protection, wisdom, confidence, and discernment. How can a dad provide these examples without showing up?

Brandon: I think by nature, fathers are positioned and wired to lead. That’s not to say that mothers don't lead. They just do it differently. My wife has said she often feels her efforts go unseen and unrecognized; however, my wife and I both know she's the smart one. She is my greatest influence and I’m a terrible leader without the wisdom she offers.

It may be that fathers tend to more outwardly offer a sense of security, authority, practical application, discipline, & direction. Whether our kids are inherent rule breakers or rule followers, they innately desire the kind of loving leadership that comes from a positive male role model. When that’s not present, there’s a void until it is filled some other way.

 

 

Home Reserve: Is there a time when your dad, or father figure, coach, teacher, etc., made a positive impact on your life by "showing up?"

Jack: My third foster care provider, Henry Lemert, led me to my Christian faith with his example of sacrifice and servanthood.

Brian: My dad showed up for me after I stole something from a local store when I was young. He showed up by taking me to the store owner, making me confess my wrongdoing, and accept the consequences. My dad taught me the lesson of accountability and the value of honesty as it impacts your reputation.

Toby: I remember a great many times just sitting down and chatting with my dad while he worked in his wood shop or running errands with him. He and I would talk about all kinds of things. Even though we don’t speak often, I still feel like I can talk to him about a lot when we do.

Brandon: I grew up without a father or any positive male role models. I’ll never forget the first time a male mentor took the time to invest in me as a young man. He carved out an entire day to help me put a new engine in my Jeep. I don’t remember the details, just that he showed up.

 

 

Home Reserve: What are some practical tips for a dad who wants to lead his family with more intentionality?

Jack: The most important thing a father can do for his children and family is to provide a genuine life lived for God. 

The second thing that I felt strong about was the example of my relationship with my wife. I always desired that my children would reflect on that relationship and realize their father and mother were so in love and served each other with great passion. 

Thirdly, it’s important to be involved in their activities and events. Daily involvement. There are so many other things that could be said about this topic, but are too numerous to put in writing. For me, being a husband and father is my purpose in life.

Brian: Pray for them daily. Read the Bible with them daily, if possible. Sing praise to God together as a family.

Toby: Put your phone down and really engage your kids. Their eyes will light up when they see you genuinely taking interest in their stories, questions, and concerns. You may be doing something important on your phone, but is it more important than your own kids? If you’re helping someone, kids are understand, but they can’t see or understand what you’re doing if you don’t include them.

Brandon: 1.) Equip yourself to show up by planning ahead. Every weekend, look ahead at your week and intentionally map out a plan where you can connect with each kid. This is a way you can “put skin in the game” for better chances to take action. 2.) The Highs & Lows Game: Every night at dinner time, ask your family what their high part of the day was, then ask them what their low part of the day was. This is a great way to facilitate richer conversations and get to know what’s important to your family. 

 

Let’s keep the conversation going.

As you’ve now seen, we love talking about all things “family” here at Home Reserve! You’re invited to check out any of these other conversations we’ve had with parents about leading their families with greater purpose:

 

Your Turn: We’d love to hear your own thoughts on how a father can show up for his children. Leave a comment below!


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