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To be a father is to be a visionary

This is for fathers at all stages.   While it might appear to be directed at new or first time fathers, the principles can be applied and reworked at any stage. In fact, the starting point for this was fathers who are in the thick of it, and realise they don’t have a clue or compass!

read through the points, and apply them, rework them or discard them as you see fit. At the end of the day, there is not a one size fits all!

1. Acceptance of the role and responsibility
The very first thing that fathers MUST do is acknowledge in themselves, that their life is forever changed, once children are involved. Four some, it is an easy transition, that have been prep’d for.  For others, it can kick in a little while after the birth of their first child. Then, there are others, for whom the process can take quite a while. I was part of the third group. For me, it took me to move my family to the other side of the country, chasing a dream to work in ministry, before I finally got it. For me it was an extensive journey,  an aha! moment. It doesn’t always happen like that, but it can.

The point is, that as fathers we must come to this point at some time. It is a point that we realise we must put away the childish things and step out as one who provides the support, strength and presence our family needs from us, whether they say it or not. Life is no longer just about you. Acknowledging this is the very first step.

2. Clarify the vision
Once we have come to the realisation that life for us has taken on a new added dimension, it is important to spend time reworking the vision of your life. You may not have exactly had a vision, and that’s ok, but now, there needs to be a plan. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want, but, it must involve input from both you and your wife. If you children are older, it may also include their input. What does our family look like? What is its purpose? What does success look like?  These types of questions will help everyone to be on the same page.

3. Put a timeframe on it
As men, we need timeframes, even if we don’t actually realise this. It keeps us accountable, and creates a sense of urgency. Life is actually short. If you have children that are aged 10 or older, think about the last ten years or so. Where did they go, right? I know that 10 years ago, when my third child was turning 1, I  didn’t have a vision for how my family would look. I didn’t have a sense of urgency. I now have almost three teenagers. I can say I don’t know where those years went. Urgency is important. And a timeframe.

4. Positive thought and conversation
Ok, so we have a clear or emerging idea of how the family does or will look, what it’s purpose is and what timeframe we are working on. Now this is critical.
You must own the vision. Your conversation will set the tone for the family. It is obvious that in prioritising a vision for your family, compromises and sacrifices need to be made. You may have to relinquish some much loved hobbies or activities to achieve the purpose of your family. You must own these changes, and speak positivity into your family, if it is to become reality. You set the benchmark for your family. They look to you.

5. Feedback mechanism
It is critical to be constantly looking back, to be checking where / how far you’ve come, and whether you’re still heading in the right direction, or the direction you still want to head. Take some time out, first by yourself, then with your wife and possibly children. During this time, reflect about the time that’s passed. Has it resulted in creating the type of memories you anticipated? Have you reached the milestones you had planed to hit, or has life taken your family in a different direction. The answers to these questions are neither right nor wrong. They are a powerful insight to your family’s makeup, and when pondered deeply, will create a new set of memories all of their own.

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