Dads, Consider the Impact of Availability

Dads, Consider the Impact of Availability

In his book, Never Walk Away, Crawford Loritts shares about the formidable impact his father made on his life:

To my knowledge, my father never read any articles or books on the family. He certainly didn't attend any family seminars that talked about the priority of home, but somewhere along the line he gained a commitment to the priority of home and his family. He never treated family matters like rocket science. He never sat down and lectured me about the intricacies of family relationships and the strategies behind being a dad and husband. He just modeled it. . . .

Availability. That's the keyword: availability. Although Pop worked long hours and wasn't home evenings during the week, we were confident that if we needed him he would drop everything to be with us.

We somehow felt that he was always available to us. He spent the time that he had with us. His “blood money” statement represented his perspective on this family. Today many people emphasize that it's not just the amount of time, but the quality and the concentration of time with one's family that counts. That's true in many ways, but we fathers must also consider the access that we let our children have to us.

Our children need to interact with us regularly and to know that at any moment, if they ever really need us, we will be there. Nothing in this world can take our place with them. Our actions and words must demonstrate that our kids occupy a special place and access to us that no one else except our spouse has.

Never Walk Away: Lessons on Integrity from a Dad Who Lived It, (Chicago: Moody, 1997), 28.


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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.