I wear a lot of hats during a typical day. Often times I feel like I’m wearing one hat, and holding two more in my hand ready to switch hats in an instant.
I’m a father, a husband, a son, a friend, a writer, a speaker, a pastor, a leader of an organization, a community advocate, an elder in my church, a business owner, a home owner, and a volunteer.
My day begins in a whirlwind of emails, messages, thoughts, to-do lists, calls, and tasks for the day. Now don’t get me wrong. I like feeling as if my life is teetering at the edge of chaos. I think I’m at my best when my life is just at its tipping point and in danger of slipping out of control. In an odd way, that’s my comfort zone.
Within itself, that is a dangerous place to live. I have another problem though, that when coupled with my hectic life, can sometimes be toxic.
I’m really lousy at saying, “No.”
I’m very poor at declining some opportunities or invitations I should probably decline. I’m a self-admitted people-pleaser and an approval addict.
I struggle to set boundaries or intentionally schedule down time in my life, and often suffer the consequences.
I’m trying to be more proactive and thoughtful about my priorities these days. Before I ever had a ministry, an organization of my own, or the platform God has given me… I had a family.
He gave me a family first, and in my life, I need to do all I can to keep my family first.
Our son with cerebral palsy and autism definitely makes our life interesting. In the evenings, to help my wife, I handle feeding Jon Alex his supper, and then we are off to swing in his platform swing in his bedroom.
It’s dad’s time. We swing, I sing. Jon Alex is nonverbal. Doesn’t matter what I sing, he just craves that time and listening to me. For his entire life, he has enjoyed the times that we sing to him and over him.
On a typical night, I’ll sing a few children’s classics, some vintage U2 and other 1980s hits from my heyday, a couple of modern worship songs, the Tennessee fight song “Rocky Top” of course, and several made-up goofy songs of ours. Then I speak blessings over him, I recite scriptures over him, and I pray over him.
I intentionally set aside a time where I am conveying that nothing else in the world matters right now but giving him my undivided attention, my whole heart, and my sole focus. I check my smartphone at the door.
It’s a holy moment.
A God-breathed, God-ordained moment.
It’s my sanctuary where I go to meet the Spirit if God.
Until last night…
Last night I cheated on my son.
Last night I cheated on my son and had an affair with my ministry.
I was an adulteress father.
Someone who I am helping walk through a difficult personal situation called for me in the middle of our “dad time.”
I had to make the choice. Do I take the call, knowing it probably won’t be a quick one? Or do I continue on interacting with my son?
My friend needed a pastor. My son needed his dad.
I made the wrong decision.
Last night I sacrificed my son on the altar of ministry.
In doing so, what I implied to my son was that there are other people, other things, and other tasks that are more important to me than him.
The choices we make every day have life-long lasting implications for our children. I chose poorly. I know what choice I will make next time. I plan to tell my son that when I see him tonight and apologize.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, and all your strength.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly
to these commands that I am giving you today.
Repeat them again and again to your children.
Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road,
when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NLT
Are there boundaries you need to set in your life to make you a better parent?
By Jeff Davidson
Husband to Becky
Father of one
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Rising Above Ministries
Author of No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches