Dear Parents: Your Kids Don’t Need a Hero, But They Do Need This

Last week I spent two entire days cleaning out my garage. I rented a trailer and ended up throwing out 80% of the clutter that consumed the shelves. Part of my motivation was to continue the effort of simplifying our lives. But if I’m honest, I was also getting slightly concerned that my neighbors we’re going to nominate me for TLC’s show, Hoarders, if I didn’t get my act together.

Out of all the junk that I got rid of that day, I couldn’t seem to let go of my old sports trophies. Not trophies from a college championship or Olympic trials. No. I couldn’t get rid of my t-ball trophies.

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Seriously.

There is something about a guy and the “glory” days.

Although t-ball wasn’t necessarily the highlight of my sports career, I definitely love to look back and remember past accomplishments. Somehow they still give me validation to this day.

Leila and I have been attending marriage counseling for the last several months as a way to continue growing and strengthening our relationship. At a recent session, the counselor said something that hit a nerve.

“Studies show that relational attachment lasts about 24 hours before it starts to fade.” He said, in a passing thought.

My heart sank.

Twenty four hours? That’s it?!

As a husband and father, I get stuck in the glory days. I convince myself that the flowers I bought for my wife last month should prove my love to her for several months to come. Or that my kids should remember how I set my phone down for an hour last week to give them my undivided attention.

It turns out that the only one basking in those glory days is me. Attachment fades.

The Good News of Jesus is the fact that God didn’t pursue us once, but that he kept on pursing us. In fact, the entire story of scripture is God pursuing humanity. Not once. But always. And then he tells us to love our wives like that.

Husbands and dads, those flowers were nice. Showing up at the kids’ baseball was good. But it’s not enough. Our family doesn’t need us once, they need us always. Embrace your wife and kids today. Say “I love you” again. And then again. Be present and faithful everyday.

They aren’t looking for the guy who once hit a home run. They are looking for the guy who shows up to every game and is ready to leave everything he has on the field.

Don’t strive to be a hero, strive to be consistent.


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Jerrad Lopes
Jerrad Lopes is the creator of DadTired.com  and has over 10 years of ministry experience as a Christian pastor. He and his wife Leila live in Portland, Oregon and are the parents to Elijah & Eden.