I would like to take a moment to thank, appreciate, and honor, fathers. Not just current fathers, but all past, present, and future fathers. Being a father is an extremely honorable role. It is not the physical act of becoming a father that is so important and honorable, it is what we do with that role of father, that makes us an extremely important person. When that miraculous event takes place, and that small little baby takes their first breath, our important journey begins.

We immediately become a father, the only father that a child will ever have. We will be one of the biggest influences on our child’s future, even if we don’t intentionally try to be. Even fathers who choose to not be involved in the lives of their children, impact those precious young lives in a big way. Young girls base a lot of their expectations regarding their future husband, and potentially the future father of her children, on the example that was lived out, through her father. Often fathers who have never been involved in their daughter’s lives, still have a big impact on those daughters, usually in a negative way.

Sons are watching every move that their fathers make. They watch and listen to all conversations. They will likely repeat words, body language, and attitudes, that they see modeled by their fathers. Even when we don’t realize it, our sons are watching how we treat other people, and they will likely repeat much of what they see. They will see, and take note, of things like anger, frustration, love, and forgiveness.

One of the most crucial places that children will watch, and learn, is the relationship their father has with their mother. One of the best things a father can do for his children, is to love their mother. Our children will watch the interactions of that relationship, more than any other, and it may impact their future, more than any other earthly relationship.

I used to think that being a father was the most important leadership role that I have, but my thinking has changed. We have the amazing power of choice, and can use it to alter our future. Our past does not need to be our future, and what kind of father, or leader, we are, should not just be determined, by our very critical childhood examples. Who we become as a father, and as a leader, is largely determined by our appetite to invest in ourselves, and strive to be the best that we can be. As fathers, we should take the best from our father, but also hunger to take it to a higher level, by intentionally striving to be the best father we can be. Great fathers, and great leaders, understand the importance and value of investing in the most important leadership responsibility we have, leading ourselves. All our leadership, including being a father, comes from who we become, on the inside, and that is our most important leadership responsibility.