Encouragement For Dads


Nick Diaz punches like a girl.

In fact, he doesn’t even really punch. It’s more like a slap.

That’s what Nick Diaz’s opponents say before they fight him.

And then, more times than not, they get knocked out.

When we think of fighters, we think of big men throwing huge punches. We don’t think about Nick Diaz. He’s tall and thin. His stance is open, leaving his face vulnerable for attack. His punches are, well, sort of like slaps. His punches are small.

But those small punches add up over the course of a fight with Nick Diaz.

Small punches win fights.

It’s easy for fathers to think that being a good dad means big trips, big purchases or some combination of the two. So we buy our kids tickets to the Super Bowl. And then we beat ourselves up for the next six years as we try to save up for the next big ticket item that proves our fatherly worth.

But the stuff good dads are made of is different. Anyone with enough money can buy ponies, tickets and nice cars. Only good dads make the effort to train, love and guide their kids in the day to day.

Good dads know that small punches win fights.

Like when your kid wants to tell you about something that he built on Minecraft. And you put down your iPhone. And you listen to what he has to say.

Or all of those times when your daughter sees you open the door for your wife.

Or the days that you turn off the TV and lead your family in a short time of Bible reading, prayer and singing. No impressive musical productions. No three-point sermons. No Latin. Just you taking some time to tell your family about how good Jesus is.

Those are the things that will never get you on the cover of a magazine.

Your kids may not even talk about those things the next day to their friends.

They’re just small punches.

But they win fights.

When your son grows up to have a wife and kids of his own, there’s a good chance that he’ll be an engaged husband and father because that’s all that he saw from you.

When your daughter starts to consider her options for marriage, she’ll stay away from smooth-talking fools because they just don’t measure up to the way that she saw you treat her mother.

When your kids go to church, they’ll know that Jesus isn’t just to be worshiped on Sunday mornings. Tuesday nights right before bed are good too.

Small punches win fights.

But beware.

This works both ways.

Your family is open to attack. But it’s not what you’re probably thinking. Most likely, a bunch of guys in ski masks driving a creepy van aren’t coming into your home tonight to mess up your family. Your enemy is subtle.

He knows that the images on your computer can do a much more destructive job on your family than any gang of van-driving hoodlums.

He knows that if he can just get you to listen to the couch when it calls your name after a long day at work and let your wife take care of the kids and the house, he’s well on his way to victory.

He knows that if he can convince you that the spiritual leader of your family is your pastor or some guy on TV, anyone but you, he’s got a good shot at making sure that you raise kids who will abandon the faith when they grow up.

Nothing big.

It’s easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.

Small punches win fights.

Nick Diaz wins fights, not because of his big swings but because he’s relentless. He never quits. Not until the fight is over. Even then he sometimes keeps fighting. One time, after a loss, he tried to settle the score with his opponent in the emergency room where both men were being examined after their official fight.

That’s the kind of father that you should be.

Never give up.

Never settle for stumbling from one big ticket event to the next.

Focus on the small, every day tasks that come with being the leader of your family.

It is there that the fight is won.

And lost.

If you’re not paying attention.