I posted some “Grandpa-isms” last week here. One of my favorites is, “There are 4 P’s that I do for my family: provide, procreate, protect…and make memories.” I have had many laughs as I try to figure out why he continues to call them the 4 P’s. However, I think that the final one, making memories, is an important piece for dads.
I have lots of memories from childhood. Things that will stick with me forever. I still remember Mom and Dad picking me up from school and taking me and my brother to the Smoky Mountains for the weekend. Or spending every Christmas Eve with my whole family at my aunt and uncle’s house eating lasagna. Or throwing the baseball with my dad for hours on end until my arm felt like it was going to fall off. Or my dad teaching how to swing a golf club with an old cut-off, duck-taped driver he constructed for me. Or having to go to sleep early the night before a big trip to Florida so that we could wake up and get on the road before God turned the lights on, only to have to change a tire that exploded while we were pumping it up after the sun rose. These were wonderful family-building times, and memories that I cherish dearly.
I want to make memories that Rex will cherish. I want him to look back on his childhood and have fond memories of the things we did as a family. I don’t want us to be a family who is so tied up with work and ministry that we don’t carve out time daily, and extended time regularly, to be with each other. I don’t have a naive view of life that says that everything will be rosy. But I’m confident that if I invest time in my son and “bring him up in the training and instruction of the Lord,” not “exasperating him,” and work to love him, be patient with him, and encourage him daily, the Lord will shape him into a godly man. I don’t have that hope because I’m some kind of super dad. Instead, I have that hope because I serve a God who changes hearts (Ezekiel 36:26), who loves despite our failings, and ultimately works all things for our redemption (Romans 8:28-29).