I’m writing mostly to dads out there with this post, and it’s about something that has really struck a chord in me lately. Currently, I’m reading the story of Brian “Head” Welch. Here’s the cover of the book:
He was one of the founding members of the heavy metal band Korn, who recently gave his life to Jesus Christ, and has since quit the band, drugs, alcohol, pornography and other addictive behaviors. What grabbed my attention wouldn’t leap off the page to most people, but I read the story of his childhood looking for clues about how much spiritual training and love he received as a boy. As it turns out, he received absolutely no leadership from his parents in spiritual matters. Keep in mind he was a regular kid in a regular family, with both parents in the home up until about age 13. He talks openly about knowing his mom loved him and how she showed it to him, but how he never felt the love from his father. His father wasn’t on drugs, or an alcoholic, but the way he treated and didn’t treat Brian played a huge role in his development. His father never felt comfortable showing him love. He never encouraged him in a consistent manner. The only consistent feeling this story described was an impatient anger with he and his brother.
I mentioned that he was a regular kid in a regular family. “Regular” these days too often means that kids have loving parents who want the best for the kids, but don’t have the personal discipline to lead their kids, or the knowledge of how to. Brian Welch had parents that loved him, but kids need more than just the word love. How do your kids KNOW that you love them? Welch writes that he had a need that only his father could feel. A need for love to be shown, approval to be given, recognition and training to help him grow properly. His father thought he was doing fine as a dad, giving Brian lots of chances to play sports or engage in hobbies, one of which became playing guitar. Before giving his life to Christ, his habits and addictions easily could have cost him his life. As a dad, or as a mom, how will you feel if one day your sons or daughters end up like Brian Welch. Sure, he may be an extreme case, but I know if one of my daughters even came close to the behaviors and addictions Welch had, I would wonder what I did wrong as a parent. In Welch’s case, he needed the attention and leadership from his father, not just the love from his mother.
Dads, your sons and daughters need to feel the love you have for them in unmistakeable ways. It may not be comfortable to you to show love in a big, open way, but for their sake, try to become fluent in the language of love that will help you kids bloom and blossom into the champion God wants them to be.