Yesterday I had coffee with a dad who excitedly told me his son was flying home from college that night to join the family for vacation. Struck by his sense of anticipation and what obviously was an unusual “bond” between father and son, I queried him as to how this friendship “happened.”
So he proceeded to relate how every night for 21 years he had put his son to bed, kissing and affirming him, praying with him, and talking things over, etc.. He recounted that if his boy came in late at night, he would make a concerted effort to stay up and meet him at the door, chat with him for a little while before they both retired for the night.
Then, in the morning, he would go into his son’s room and spend a few minutes with him as he started his day.
“The last 10 minutes of the day and the first 10 minutes in the morning are the most important in raising your kids,” he said with deep conviction. Today, this young man strongly embraces the family’s values, is doing well in school, and, along with his parents, is a sincere follower of Christ.
As I was musing over this remarkable father-son relationship, I recalled another conversation I recently had with another dad, who by contrast is anguished over his estranged relationship with his 21 year old son.
Years ago, when his offspring was but a lad, he had “neglected” him for his career. Speaking with angst over his son’s intense contempt for him, he explained how this young man is now punishing him by pursuing a defiant lifestyle that includes a live-in girlfriend, and a casual approach to work and career, etc..
QUESTION: As a father, what practical, thought-out, and consistent steps are you taking to insure the fact that you and your children are developing a healthy, inseparable bond?
We often quote Proverbs 22:6 as a guarantee that our children will turn out “right”. Surely a concerted effort at bonding would help ensure the fulfillment of this verse of Scripture:
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”