There are opportunities coming my way, as a dad, that I hope I’m ready for. When my children need me to be strong, true, and right, I hope that I respond the right way. These are teachable moments, when our kids are learning right from wrong, what it means to be a man or woman, what God is like. We, as parents, need to be ready because we are teaching our children something. Our actions speak loudly and teach volumes.
I had a friend growing up whose dad was a pastor of a local church. He was also an avid “reader” of Playboy Magazine. He had stacks of them in his closet. They were in chronological order. My friend was very careful to make sure we didn’t get them out of order because he would get in trouble if his dad found out that he and his friends were looking at them. What was this dad teaching his son, not to mention the neighborhood boys?
If you are a dad with a son, he is going to get curious about girls/women at some point. He’s going to look to you, Dad, to see how men treat women. He may even ask if you’ll buy him a Playboy magazine. We need to be prepared so we’re not caught off guard and fumbling for an answer. “Son, that’s not what real men do. Part of our God-given role as men is to protect women, not treat them like toys. Other guys may look at that stuff, but you are better than that. We don’t do that. We honor God with our eyes and our minds as well as our words and actions. We treat women with honor and respect.”
I don’t want to miss the opportunity to have a teachable moment with any of my children. I know I won’t be perfect, but I’ve got to try my best, which means making sure that my integrity is intact. I need to be working to be the same person all week that I say I am on Sunday morning. Then, when the opportunity for a teachable moment presents itself, I will be prepared.
“This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
– William Shakespeare