Dads and Sons

shave1_3007629bSunday a woman told me a story of a dad who made his son run home after football practice because his hustle wasn’t up to dad’s standards. At the time I was busy so I didn’t think a lot about her comment. Later I came to the conclusion that the father probably did that because he loves him. Of course there might also be some vicarious living involved too.  Dads love sons; that is the way God set up the relationship.  Growing up I never doubted that my father loved me.  Although we were never close, his love was always a given, albeit rarely exhibited.  I do have some vague recollection of him kissing me on the forehead once when I was a small child. But past that I do not remember my father as being a warm and fuzzy man at all (my sister has a different recollection).

A few days before he died, I was alone in the room with dad as he labored to breath, tethered to a perpetual oxygen tube. Suddenly, he looked up at me with piercing brown eyes and said, “John, I am proud of you and I love you”.  At the time I was in my mid-twenties. Prior to that day I had never heard those words.  I recall that emotional moment of time as a high point in my life.

That day I made up my mind that when I had children  I would tell them I loved them every day.  I have a grown son; I am confident that when Michael was growing up that I didn’t entirely live up to my commitment, but I did tell him I loved him a lot.In twenty-five years of ministry I expect that I’ve had dozens of men tell me that their dads never told then that he loved them.  Dads your sons know you love them, but knowing isn’t enough. They need to hear you say it starting right now.

The online version of my book for free Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure, rehab, forgiveness and victory. http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=3877

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