Summary: dads are challenged to give unconditional love to their kids as God does to us.
Rom 8:38,39 To Be A Dad
A man with 314 employees had driven and criticized and condemned them without restraint or discretion. Words of kindness, appreciation and encouragement were alien to his lips. Then he came across a course that radically changed his philosophy of life. As a result, 314 enemies have become his friends, and a new spirit of loyalty, enthusiasm, and teamwork characterizes his business.
He says, “When I used to walk through my establishment, no one greeted me. My employees actually looked the other way when they saw me approaching. But now, they are all my friends, and even the janitor calls me by my first name.”
The company became much more productive, and rather than dreading going to work, the employees now look forward to it. There is no more sabotage, and only minor dissension because each one feels part of a family.
What was it that changed this business so completely? It was learning and using the principles of getting along with people that Dale Carnegie first discovered and wrote about in his 1937 book, How To Win Friends And Influence People.
His first principle is explained in a chapter entitled, “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.” Can you imagine what principle one is from that picturesque title? This story makes it plain:
Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.
These are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.
At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, "Good-bye, Daddy!" and I frowned, and said in reply, "Hold your shoulders back!"
Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your socks. I humiliated you before your friends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Socks were expensive, and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!
Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in, timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. "What is it you want?" I snapped.
You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither...and then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.
Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, reprimanding--this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. It was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.
And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of yours was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me goodnight. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt here, ashamed!
It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy. I will chum with you, suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual, "He is nothing but a boy, a little boy!"
I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your bed, I see that you are still a little boy. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.