What Smart Dads Know

Smart Dads

We were going past a Comfort Inn years ago. I saw that beautiful sign, “Kids stay free.” I couldn’t resist. I dropped ours off.

I’m kidding. But I did think about it.  At times we dads can be mischievous, clueless, and a few chicken chunks short of a casserole.

Exhibit A: A student fell asleep in class. The teacher—clearly a dad—changed the clock to 4 PM, shut the lights off, and had the class wait quietly outside.

Exhibit B: Dad 2 was at the drive-through placing a long order, and suddenly realized…he was talking to a garbage can.

Exhibit C: Another dad was pulled over by a police officer, and heard him mutter into his radio, “Not our guy, this one’s got pants.”

Of course, there are plenty of smart dads too. Here are a few things smart dads know. They know it’s a good idea to kiss their wife in front of the kids. They know to skip rocks, give noogies, shoot hoops, and keep promises. They know how to say,“You’re right.” “I’m sorry,” “I love you.” Smart dads know that porn damages relationships, and features someone’s precious daughter. So they turn it off, turn to God and get help.  Smart dads build stuff. I have seven thumbs on each hand, so it’s possibly lethal for me to attempt to build a birdhouse. But anyone can build Smart dads build memories. Anyone can build stilts. You just find two long one by two’s and whack a couple of blocks onto them. A friend did this. His son looked him right in the eyes as he stood on those stilts and thought: My dad is the coolest.

Smart dads know that an absent father can’t guide, model, challenge, wrestle, love, laugh, advise, and rescue. So when possible they’re present. Smart dads laugh and cheer, read the Bible and pray. In fact, they let their kids catch them on their knees, not just when they’re looking for the remote.  I was 3 or 4 when I fell into a lake. My dad was there. He rescued me. Dad knew I wasn’t the only one in over my head. So he got help from friends who kept him accountable.

Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Smart dads know to call on God and reach up for help. And God gives us strength and wisdom to live faithful lives. To build something lasting.

A dad was tucking his 3-year-old into bed. The little guy said, “Wrap me up like a Dorito, Daddy.” Let’s build them up, point them heavenward, and tuck them in.

Want to read more from Phil?

3 min read

Jerry’s Choice

Is it possible to choose joy whatever comes? For the pessimist, the glass is not just half-empty, it’s chipped and…

3 min read

Party Training: How to Have the Best Birthday Party Ever

Years ago, ten boys arrived for my son Jeff’s tenth birthday. They spent the afternoon breaking water balloons over each…

3 min read

Imperfect Saint

A boy says goodbye to the mom he loves I asked friends what they loved about their mom. Sadie said:…