Last year I sat with one of my mentors Michael Fuchs to talk about life and the start of my new venture at Seacoast Church. He offered some amazing advice to me: "You have the opportunity of a lifetime to "reset!" To reset all of your habits, life goals and thinking about the way you do life. To reset and start your life over.
Thankfully I took his advice and did a complete reset. In the last year I've worked to get back in shape with cycling. I've worked to be present in the moment. I've set some new life goals. I've started thinking globally vs locally by supporting SoleHope and other amazing organizations. And after 12 years I've started to date; again.
The First Date
The first date was awkward, really awkward.
We spent a lot of time on our iPhones and looking out the window at the people who walked by The LAB. There were lots of silly questions and shy responses. Our eyes met a few times as we ate some amazing food and sipped our drinks, and when they met, there would be a fun smile and a giggle.
Near the end of the date I took a piece of paper and started to draw. I'm no Picasso, but she loved my drawing and folded it up and put it in her lovely little pink bag.
Being a good southern gentleman I paid for our date and we called it a night.
Why Did I Start Dating, Again?
Well honestly, the reason I started to date again was because Michael Fuchs suggested that I reset my life. When I took time to do so I knew I needed to make some HUGE changes with spending time with people one on one. That I needed to be vulnerable and to love again. Sure dating may be jumping into the deep end of the pool-but if you know me I tend to do that with most things in my life.
I also started dating because I wanted to have deeper relationships. I wanted to care for the people I respected in a deeper way. And I wanted to learn to love them deeper.
The Second Date
Since that first date, I've been on about 50 other dates. Before you start calling me names and lose all respect for me - my dates have been with Gabriel (my son) and Rylynn (my daughter). Since I started dating them my relationship has grown leaps and bounds. Our dates are no longer awkward. We have lots of fun. We laugh and smile a lot. I've learned to see how special and unique my older kids are.
People complain about how expensive dating is; it can be but we've found some great things we like to do on our dates that are not. One is going up on the parkway and looking at the amazing view. On our dates we focus on the here and now. We talk about life. We talk about dreams. We talk about anything.
By dating my kids I've learned more about them. I've learned what they love, I've learned what they dream about, I've also learned that when I fill up their relational take, there is less need for discipline. I've learned that when I openly love them and openly respect them in front of others they beam like the sun.
Why You Should Start Dating, Again.
You should start dating your kids too! And your grandkids. Did you know parents on average spend less than 40 minutes each week in meaningful conversations with their children! When you look at the numbers like that, it is little wonder that depression, anxiety, and fear of man are at pandemic levels.
You can do it. Yes, it will be awkward for a while. But make the commitment to do it. To learn to be real. To be present with your kids. There is no better way to do that then to start dating your kids.
Published by: Justin Brackett in Fatherhood