Part of getting to know someone is asking them what kind of music they like. That question seems to rank close to “What do you do?” and “Where are you from?” when we are looking to understand someone better. I have a hard time with that question! I listen to so many different styles that it confuses my poor iPhone pretty badly when I hit the Genius button.
One of my favourite genre’s is Country music. There are a lot of songs written for dads and family men on there, and since I’ve been married for about 15 years and have 4 kids, I’m right in the thick of it. I’m sure many of you are too. So, I thought I’d offer up some thoughts to encourage and challenge you — and root them in the wisdom of some country songs. They’re not the newest songs, but they are some of my faves. (Admitteidly, these are a little “dad-biased”.)
You’re Gonna Miss This – Trace Adkins — Part of the chorus says: “You’re going to miss this, You’re going to want this back, You’re going to wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast.” That’s some good advice for us with small kids. We’re forever looking forward to the next step: I can’t wait until they: “Get out of the diapers… Play by themselves… Learn how to clean up their room… Can read to themselves… Get their first job…” Slow down mom and dad. My oldest is only 11 and I’m starting to reminisce about the “old days” when they were babies. Believe it or not, you are going to miss this.
Watching You – Rodney Atkins — (Warning to dad’s, this one’s a tear-jerker) It’s all about a 4 year old wanting to be just like his daddy, and the lesson is well taken. Dads (and moms, uncles, aunts and grandparents too)… they’re watching you! How you talk. How you pray. How you treat your spouse. How you spend your money. What makes you mad, happy and sad. And they want to be just like you. My favourite line of the song hits home to me… “We got back home and I went to the barn. I bowed my head and I prayed real hard and said ‘Lord please help me help my stupid self.'”
Love Without End, Amen – George Straight. I love this song because it shows a great balance between parental discipline and loving wisdom, and reminds me that our ability to love is rooted in God’s love for us. Sometimes when a child breaks the rules they need discipline, other times an “I love you anyway” will accomplish even more. It takes God’s guidance and wisdom to be a good parent, which is why we need to be in prayer for our families, our children and our selves, so we can let God the Father show us how!