“When I hear people talk about juggling, or the sacrifices they make for their children, I look at them like they’re crazy, because ‘sacrifice’ infers that there was something better to do than being with your children.”– Chris Rock
When I first conceived this website, I never imagined I’d be quoting Chris Rock, yet here I am.
I’ve spent the better part of the past week trying to decide what to write about Father’s Day (it seemed appropriate to write something at least), but I couldn’t quite figure out what to say. There is simply too much. Father’s play such a large role in our lives, and it’s not possible to encapsulate that into one post.
When I read this quote, however, I realized that Chris Rock hit on a something that is really important, something that most of us probably miss.
Now, I’m not a father, so I won’t pretend to be, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have some strong father figures in my life – both biological and relational. These men have helped guide me and shape me into who I am today. They have loved me despite my failures and stood by me when I made a decision they didn’t necessarily agree with.
I was lucky and I know that. I’ve seen many situations where dads have to travel and find it hard to be there for their kids. It’s not because they don’t want to be, it’s just the demands of their job.
Worse yet, I’ve seen homes where the father is completely absent. Most of the time this is by choice, sometimes it’s by design, but regardless of the scenario, it’s sad to see.
My dad was as busy as any other dad, but he chose to make sacrifices for us. He sacrificed his time by watching all of our little league baseball games. He sacrificed money by fulfilling every wish of ours that he could. We have so many good memories because of the choices and sacrifices he made.
These things are exactly what Chris Rock is trying to point out. Sure, my dad didn’t have to be at all of my games. In most cases it would have been easier for him to stay at home. I’m sure he was tired, after all, since he would teach from 7:30 to 2:30 and then coach from 3:00 to 5:00. He was around kids all day, so it’d be only natural to want to avoid being around kids at home as well, right?
Still, my dad chose to invest in his family before his own ambitions.
There are plenty of fathers who don’t make that choice. There are some children who may never meet their father because he chose early on to sacrifice his relationship with his child rather than give up something else in his life, whatever that may have been.
It really all comes down to that choice, doesn’t it? As a father, what will you sacrifice: yourself or your relationship with your child?
I hope that, as we all celebrate today, the fathers who may have made the mistake of sacrificing their relationship with their children realize that there’s still time to try and mend it. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth the effort.
And finally, I hope we all take time to thank those fathers who have chosen to sacrifice themselves for their families, who have been there for their children and loved them unconditionally. Thank you for choosing to love us.