The Dad I Want To Be

I wrote a piece on the vulnerability of fathering for In Touch:

It’s 7:30 at night, and I’m staring at my iPhone for no apparent reason. There is no crisis in the world that requires me. No organizational issue that demands a response, and no critical communication I must conduct on behalf of my family or friends.

I’m just scrolling through Twitter, aimlessly. This is probably a justifiable use of time during leisure activity or when waiting in the doctor’s office, but not at 7:30 on a weekday when the kids need my attention. And yet here I am, escaping the messy reality of being present as a parent, for the cheap comfort of the passive and useless acquisition of knowledge.

The shame hits me, not in the moment when I’m chuckling over a funny tweet, but later when I kiss my youngest daughter on the forehead before putting her to bed. Will she know me as a good and godly dad who pointed her to the heavenly Father? Or will she know me as that adult male in her home who gave only small bursts of attention while his phone was charging? I’d like to think I’m the former, but there too many nights when I’m the latter.

There is the father I should be and there is the father I really am. The gap between those two is wide. I live in that chasm every day.

Read the rest of the piece here

photo credit: Ed Yourdon

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