This is not rocket science, but it amazes me how many people don’t do this when it comes to raising their children.
The Dad gets in the way by physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually blocking his children from harming themselves and from harm coming to them.
We are a home schooling family. One of the first arguments I heard against that decision, just as my oldest son was old enough to walk, was, “You need to send him to day care so that he can build up his immune system against diseases. He can get sick and then be able to fight disease when he is an adult.”
Maybe you should go play in traffic so that you learn how to obey stop signs when you are older.
What we discovered by these conversations – and some with very close family members – is that they were trying to justify why they hadn’t gotten in the way of their own children. Their children had gone way off the reservation and they were giving us advice.
It reminds me of the time I was working in sales for a local radio station group, and I had told everyone that I had just gotten engaged to Beth. One woman, Kathy, who was about seven years older than I, came up to me in the hall and said we should go to lunch – which we had never done before – because she had been married three times and could give me a lot of advice.
Yeah, she really said that.
I remember responding to her, as a junior account executive and she the second-most producing salesperson In the whole company, with a bit of trepidation but I think courage from above: “Kathy, what on earth could you teach me about being married? You have failed at it three times. I don’t want to have lunch with you and I don’t want your advice.”
It seems even before getting married I was getting in the way of my children.
In this category, “Get In The Way” I will discuss a lot of opportunities, situations and failures of Dads when it comes to getting in the way of their children. Getting in the way is important, but it only happens if a Dad has first led and followed. A Dad has no credibility in the “getting in the way” department if he has nothing to back him up. But if he can say he is getting in the way because his Abba has gotten in his way, then the credibility is there.
Getting in the way is practicing what you preach because you have followed what has been preached to you. And nothing – nothing! – but good comes from that.
Think of all the times we read in the Bible when God gets in the way of his children. They are innumerable, starting with Him telling Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Sheesh – if they had just listened to Him then…
This makes the point that even if Dad gets in the way he may not be successful. But God did it and He KNEW He wouldn’t be successful. How much more should we get in the way when we do not know?
You, Dad, are the last shield for your child. That duty never ends, even when the child turns his back on you or declares you impotent to his desires and actions; or when he turns eighteen or gets married. Stand with the Truth you have learned and practiced through Leading and Following, and Getting In The Way. Whether you are successful or not may not be up to you – but you will be held accountable for getting in the way – or stepping aside.
Lead, Follow, and Get In The Way. It’s a practical, time-tested, Biblical and eternal approach to being a Dad, and it works every time it is done.