“Daddy, let me show you my picture.” The heat went up around my collar. I want to look at your picture again, honey.” Sarah crawled back into my lap. I asked my little girl a question, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear the answer. Katie the dog is in the picture, and the sun, and the house, and squirrels, and birdies. Lifting her gently off my lap, I sent her back to play in the spring sunshine.
Ten minutes later she swept back into the living room. “Sarah,” I called, “could you come back inside a minute, please? A Cabbage Patch doll named Nellie tucked limply under her arm. With that simple statement my little princess stopped time for me.
I resolved right then to change—to be a daddy who was for his kids, who didn’t spend every moment studying or at the office, who was an active participant in his children’s lives. Radio and television opportunities were there for the taking, and a book contract sat on my desk.
Sure, it might slow down my career ambitions a bit. Shortly after the birth of my daughter, Danae, I finished my Ph. I was running at incredible speed, just like every other man I knew.
Satan once attempted to entice Jesus with the “authority and splendor” of this world (Luke 4:6).
But I desperately wanted my daughter to know that she was the pride and joy of my life—and that she could show me her latest drawing anytime. Although my pursuits were bringing me professional rewards, my dad wasn’t impressed.It was time for this daddy to get back in the picture. He wrote me a long and loving letter, gently expressing how great a mistake it would be if I continued to pour every resource into my career and failed to meet my obligations to my wife and infant daughter.He said that my occupational success would be pale and unsatisfying if I lost the love of those I cared about most.Those words shook me to the core and made me reexamine my priorities.
Our culture has vilified masculinity and, as a result, boys are suffering.
I was sitting in my favorite chair, studying for the final stages of my doctoral degree, when Sarah announced herself in my presence with a question: “Daddy, do you want to see my family picture? Come back in a little while, honey.” Good move, right? “Sarah, I said come back This is important.” Three minutes later she stormed into the living room, got three inches from my nose, and barked with all the power a five-year-old could muster: “Do you want to see it or don’t you? “No,” I told her, “I don’t.” With that she zoomed out of the room and left me alone. “Sarah,” I called, “could you come back inside a minute, please? Across the top, in her best printing, she had inscribed: “OUR FAMILY BEST.” “Tell me about it,” I said. I can close my eyes right now and see the way she looked. I slumped back in my chair with a swirling head and blood pumping furiously through my heart.