by Michael Holland
The words flowed easily for me: “. . . in my first marriage….” They referenced something that was a part of my life: I was married before right out of college. I consciously made that decision and it is part of my history, impacting who I am today. But the reaction from one of my kids after hearing about my first marriage reminded me of how foreign that concept is to them. They know me now, and that phrase just doesn’t compute… at least not smoothly.
As men and fathers, we must share our history with our kids no matter how embarrassing and painful it can sometimes be. We are living examples of life: good, bad, or ugly. The rawness of our reality is revealed in our character and plays into the mental math we perform as we ponder decisions. And let us not forget to mention how our subconsciously driven, less-than-desirable behaviors are often our historical lives coming out in unanticipated ways.
Sure, we must adjust the message content and context while revealing our historical lives to match up to the season of life and maturity of our kids, but the richness and rippling impact of our historical decisions creates wisdom: our wisdom. It’s what we have to share. It’s what God has given us to provide perspective and insight.
Hopefully our wisdom will help our kids to make better decisions as they go through life, allowing their trend line to be healthier. Hopefully, they can change their story by learning from our history.