Many people tell others to practice what they preach. I had a recent experience that taught me to practice what I post.
Over the winter, I posted on Facebook how my car was moaning and groaning more than usual while I was driving my daughter to school. I was frustrated, and the fact that my daughter was commenting on the noise did not help. Still, I felt something come over me and I told her how I was not going to complain. I then patted the dashboard and said something along the lines of ‘God, thank you for this car and the ears to hear the noise.’
This spring, I wrote something for One Million Dads that involved patience and how parents lead by example. If we lose our patience, our kids will see that it is okay to lose patience. When we lash out in anger, our children will think it is okay to get angry. That brings me to the more ‘recent experience’ I mentioned at the beginning of this blog.
This summer, I left my home with a toilet that would not flush. I returned home to said toilet and found that it still would not flush. That would not have been such a big deal had my (still) noisy car’s headlights not gone out on the way home. That rather dark experience got to me and I flipped out when I arrived home. In just a few minutes, I was ready to move and get another car. That’s despite neither of those things being possible for me at the moment. Meanwhile, my wife and children were witnesses to my irrational behavior, which only became more irrational after I went in the laundry room and pounded on my dryer while saying words that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to warn about in Colossians 3:8.
The point here is that earlier this year I was telling people about praises, patience and the importance of keeping one’s composure when children are present. Even so, here I was just a few months later ignoring things I had written. The worst part was when my wife told me how silly I was acting and that I was missing time with our daughters before their bedtime. It was that remark that made me remember another post for One Million Dads, that being the Do Something With Your Kids While You Can article.
I hope this account of my actions will cause dads to think about what they say and how they act. Here at One Million Dads, our mission is not ‘Do as I Say and Not as I Do.’ Instead, it is ‘Lead or Others Will.’
If fathers do not lead and live by example, myself included, someone else will and they may not care about the implications.