Many years ago, my wife and I travelled to the USA to meet with fatherhood and family leaders. We met Dr Ken Canfield in Los Angeles, the founder of the world’s first major Fathering Centre. We also met with Brian Molitor, Michigan, of the Malachi Global Foundation.
Brian Molitor took me out on a jet ski at 100 km per hour on a Michigan lake to remind me of the fourth line of the Marsh Family Mission Statement to ‘Have fun doing it’! However, it was the visit to Kansas City to the International House of Prayer for all Nations and the National Center for Fathering that really smashed my heart.
I know that you are reading this because of your interest in fathers and families and that’s why I want to tell you about Carey Casey from www.fathers.com. Carey Casey is still the main mover at the National Center for Fathering and his words of wisdom are as relevant to you and I today, as the day they were given.
Carey Casey is a big beautiful man who was the former professional grid-iron, quarterback player featured in ‘Remember the Titans’, a true story of the battle for equality, set against the game of inter-racial football in a highly charged atmosphere.
Carey Casey and his team at the National Center for Fathering in Kansas City treated us like champions, the title of today’s newsletter. Casey, at the time, had released a brilliant book about Fathering called ‘Championship Fathering’. I’ll let Carey tell you some of his story:
I lost count of how many times my father used the words, “Boys, let’s go for a drive.” . . . It took me a while to catch on. The idea wasn’t really about going for a drive. Pop was a lot more subtle than that. He was creating a captive audience in the car, where he could ‘school us up’ on something he’d been thinking about.
He’d slip it into the conversation without making a big announcement. He wouldn’t even change his tone of voice. He’d say, “You know, boys, it would break my heart if I ever heard that you hurt a young lady in any way.” Or, “If it ever got back to me – and you know it would get back to me – that you boys were messing with drugs, we’d have to do some serious business. Know what I mean?”
We would nod our heads. Pop always meant what he said . . .
. . . What are you hoping your kids will catch on to? Have you repeated certain phrases or habits in an effort to teach father-lessons your kids will remember? . . .
. . . For most of us, fatherhood turned out to be different from the way we thought it would be. Some of the difference was good, and some was not so good. Most of us wish someone had sat us down and schooled us about what it was like to suddenly be Dad.
Some of us had a dad or grandfather who gave us some clues about fathering. But very few of us ever had a conversation that started something like this: “Son, someday you’re going to be a father. When that child starts calling you ‘Dad’, here’s what I want you to remember.”
If you did have a conversation like that, I hope you can remember what came next – because it’s probably gold! But whatever your preparation for fatherhood, this book can be a series of conversations about the most important aspects of fathering that some of us have learned about along the way. Think of each chapter as you and me taking a drive. . .
. . . I don’t believe there is a greater challenge a man can take on than the task of being a husband and father. Sooner or late, and more often than you expect, fatherhood will take the best you can give – and then some. . .
. . . Good fathering, even Championship Fathering, is within your reach. It doesn’t matter where you’re starting as much as it matters how you finish. We’ve all got a lot to learn. We can learn it from each other’s failures and successes. We can help others along the way even while we make progress ourselves . . . so let’s keep going!
Carey Casey has laid down a challenge: Championship Fathering. It sure is hard, but I’m working on it.
Yours for more Champion Dads
PS. Last week I invited you to join us at an Adventure in Marriage Retreat on the 4-6 August 2017 at Stanwell Tops (South of Sydney NSW). We are going because we want to build our marriage up. Is our marriage in crisis? No . . . but we do something like this every year for our marriage. Every marriage is either in crisis or about to go into crisis and that is why you have to put some work into your marriage before it gets there. The price of a good marriage is eternal vigilance, and no, I am not exaggerating! Don’t make excuses every couple in Australia needs to go on an Adventure in Marriage Weekend: There are still a few places left! Book in here:
PS2. Another invitation RE protecting marriage and family. The Australian Family Association based in Melbourne are an amazing organization. They have a great team and they are advocating for marriage and family all year round. Alison and I will be attending their conference in Canberra on Sunday 13 August and also attending a special Family & Marriage Dinner at the National Press Club, Canberra on Monday night 14 August 2017. We invite you to join us at this premium Marriage and Family Conference should you have the time.