I gave a message a few weeks ago about the moments in my life that made me who I am today. As I was thinking through stories and memories I had and fell upon a distinct memory. This memory was from when I was pretty young. It was a time I had with my dad on what we called, father son trips. These trips consisted of me picking anywhere that I wanted to go within 500 miles. From Friday-Sunday, my dad would drop the things around him to just spend time with me. No work, no siblings, no cares, like a vacation, just my dad and me. Each year would be themed, backed up by a specific idea, quote and bible verse. Anything from, “Flee youthful lust” or “Do not be afraid” or “The eye is the lamp of the body.” Each year, we would look back on previous themes and see how we were doing with the topic. After, we would then look to the next theme. Each one would challenge my integrity, my relationships, and my views on and relationship with God. Importantly, each year brought my dad and me closer, year after year.
In this distinct memory, I couldn’t have been older than 11. As we were in the middle of a conversation on a specific “theme”, I remember him telling me something that I would never forget. He said, “It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of you, always remember that God cares for you more than you can comprehend.” Whether he intentionally planned to say that or not, it’s a memory that I will never forget. It was a memory that sticks in my mind because even at age 11, my dad thought it was important enough for him to take me away for a weekend just to share a few life changing words.
We’ve done more than 10 father-son-trips ranging from ages 8-18 and I could pick out specific moments in different trips that still define who I am today. It’s crazy the impact a parent has on their children or teen. Statistically, no matter what age, what gender, single or married; a parent is the number one influence in their child’s life. When I was in grade school, Jr High and even High School, I didn’t believe that. Now that I’m out and a bit older, I can see the proof of that in my own life.
So what are you doing to make memories that your kids will never forget?