I was a fair high school wrestler. I wasn’t great but I had a coach who was greatly invested in me. Coach Sensenbaugh trained with me before and after school and on and off the mat. He talked to me about having a winning edge to overcome bigger and stronger opponents.
Coach would say to me, “Sippy, If you are going to succeed at wrestling you need to succeed at everything.”
I have learned it is not easy to succeed at everything. There are variables beyond our control and adversities, too. I never became the champion I aspired to be. I did become a better wrestler, though. I also become a better student, a better worker, and I believe, a better Dad, as well.
Today, I am teaching my boys how to wrestle their way through life. I want them to be prepared and to have a winning, positive edge when they face variables beyond their control and adversities too – and especially in the most important arena of their lives, their home.
Of course I want my boys to be good students and good workers and to enjoy the activities they choose—be it weightlifting or water ballet. But what I really want for my boys is to have love in their home – and lots of it. I want them to feel secure and hopeful, joyful and filled with mercy. I want my boys to be great lovers and partners to their spouses. I want their spouses to be great lovers, too, to be good friends and to care for each other. Together, I want my boys and their spouses to create a wonderful, unconditional, patient, and nurturing love in their home in which their children feel safe and secure no matter the variable or adversity.
I want my boys to know that such love in the Home does not happen by accident. It takes coaching and training. And we don’t always succeed. I once got beat in a wrestling match 13-1. My coach told me to shower up. We would begin again.
I am not always the Dad I want to be. I sometimes need to shower up and begin again. I am learning that I can change old habits; I can break unhealthy cycles; and I can free myself hurts and disappointments. I need help. I need lots of it. I need you. I need my wife’s patience and sometimes I need her forgiveness. But what I am learning through coaching and training is that I can be a better Dad than what I am.
It is not easy to be a Dad. We may need to wrestle against ourselves. But when we train together and help each other we can become better Dads each day. We can create the Love in our homes that we want for our children.
Thank you for partnering with me. I am cheering for you
Jeff Sippy, a Dad-In-Training, is the father of three young men and the husband of Cindy. He enjoys sailing every chance that he gets. He is the senior pastor at Redeemer Lutheran in Springfield, MO and can be reached for question or comment at email@example.com