My dad and I love each other. He’s an incredibly talented man. I actually think he could have been the president of the United States. People love him. He’s a deep thinker. He and I had many deep and philosophical conversations as I was growing up. He’s given me a love for the outdoors. We’ve gone on quite a few hunting and fishing trips over the years. He’s taught me to persevere. He’s taught me the importance of family and relationships. We have a wonderful relationship and have spent some wonderful times together, but we have experienced heartache together too. My father was an alcoholic.
Anyone who has a family member or friend who’s an alcoholic or drug abuser knows that one of the biggest things associated with it are lots of deception and a resulting distrust in the relationship. It caused a lot of pain in both his and my life. But I’ve used it to help others. Sometimes our message is born out of what gives us pleasure in our lives, but more often, it’s born out of what gives us pain. We all experience pain. The question is, “What will I do with pain?” “Will I let it make me more focused on myself or on others?” If we let it, pain can be a “relational bonding agent.” The pain you’ve experienced in losing a job, losing a parent, divorce, or alcoholism can be turned into a passion and your passion into loving others.
Largely due to my relationship with my father, I now have a great passion to speak truth into people’s lives. Not only truth about alcoholism, but the truth about relationships, marriage, and fatherhood. I’ve turned that pain into passion. That’s my message. Maybe you have discovered your message; maybe you haven’t. Everyone has a message. Your message, the positive messages, is an integral part of your life story. It’s something you have to say to the world. Here are 2 questions to consider as you construct your message.
1. So, what’s your message?
Maybe your message was, or in the future will be, conceived in pain. You’ve experienced the pain of breast cancer, losing a job, financial problems, divorce, or alcoholism. All those things you wanted to put behind you and hide, are the things you should put in front of others and share with them. Who can better help a parent with Down Syndrome than a parent of a Down Syndrome child? Who can better help someone who is going through a divorce than someone who went through a divorce? Whatever it is, it can be used for good. Turn your pleasure into passion. Turn your pain into passion. And your passion into love for others. Make this your message.
2. So why is knowing your message important as a father?
Knowing and sharing your message with others:
- Demonstrates to your kids that life is bigger than just you
You have something significant to share that is beyond yourself. And by doing so, you’re demonstrating your love for others.
- Teaches your children that life is bigger than them
The universe, whether they know it or not, does not revolve around them. And it’s our responsibility to show them how to alter their inborn, selfish trajectory.
Loving others is our great and eternal duty. So, after you’ve developed your message, help your kids develop theirs.
What would you say is your message?