Dad: take time to make lasting memories with kids

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2013

Recently, I read an unforgettable story about the importance of taking the time to make lasting memories for your children.

Author/minister Bruce Larson writes in his book, The One and Only You, about a friend of his in Montgomery. The man planned a summer vacation for his wife and children, insisting he was unable to go because of his business.

Though he told them he couldn’t go with him, he helped plan every day of a trip traveling in the family station wagon. Their trek would take them from Montgomery all the way to California, up and down the west coast, and then back home.

The father knew their route so exactly that he knew the precise time they would be crossing the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. What his family did not know was that he had booked a flight to the airport closest to that destination. He arranged to hire a driver to take him to a place on the highway where every car must pass.

On that particular day, he arrived and sat by the side of the road for a couple of hours watching for that familiar station wagon. When the vehicle came into view, he stepped up on the road and put his thumb out to “hitchhike” a ride with his family who thought he was 3,000 miles away.

Larson asked his friend why he went to that much trouble to pull off the surprise.  His reply, “Bruce, someday I’m going to be dead and when that happens I want my kids and my wife to say, ‘You know, Dad was a lot of fun.’”

John Nicholson has written, “The quality of a child’s relationship with his or her father seems to be the most important influence in deciding how that person will react to the world.”

Proverbs 23:24 reads, “The father of godly children has cause for joy. What a pleasure to have children who are wise.” It’s been said, “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”

Go to The National Fatherhood Initiative ( to find out five ways to be a great dad. Being a great dad doesn’t have to be difficult. Two of the five tell about how to make an impact for a lifetime.

“Leave a legacy by giving your children a memory. Make a plan to do something simple but something that your children can always remember. Read the same story each night for a month, play a certain game each week, fix the same dinner or breakfast every Saturday.

“Laugh with your children. Allow your children to find the joy in life that comes with innocence. Then laugh with your children in these moments and find the deepest joy that is known in the heart of a parent. If you take the time to love, laugh, look, listen and leave a legacy – you will connect with your kids and be the dad they need and want you to be.”


Jan White is an award-winning religion columnist.  Her email address is