On Father’s Day Sunday 1 September 2002, we launched the very first Dads4Kids weekly newsletter for men. Sign Up Here. We have not missed a Sunday since. It is up to eight hundred and ninety-nine issues later, and no, I am not counting. Let me share the reflection from the very first newsletter.
I believe the greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love his wife. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. Shakespeare said, “Love is a many-splendoured thing”. St Paul said, “These three things remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.”
The brothel-keeper in the Moulin Rouge, in the movie of the same name says, “We are creatures of the underworld. We cannot afford to love.” This is the reaction of many of us. Loving people does not come easy to anyone.
It is always easier to love someone you don’t know, because the hardest people to love are those closest to you.
I love my wife, but I have to work at it. I’m sure she has the same problem loving me. I think this might be an even bigger problem for her than I realise.
Several years ago when I was giving a marriage seminar in Tasmania, a lady gave me a wonderful definition of what love is. “Love is being committed to being committed.”
That is what marriage is all about. Being committed to being committed.
Children need to know and feel this kind of love. Love makes them grow better. In fact, as psychologist Steve Biddulph says, “Love grows the brain.”
The best way for children to experience this kind of love is to see it every day in and between their mum and dad.
That doesn’t mean that mum and dad are perfect. No, just two people on the road of life that have learned how to say sorry.
How does this ‘love thing’ happen? Sometimes these things are so hard to quantify and even explain.
All I know is you’ve got to keep the flame alive. It requires great effort, especially on the man’s part.
My strong belief is that love is about doing, but equally, it also about saying.
Let me share a recent example. I am the coordinator for another faith-based charitable entity called the Canberra Declaration. The mission of the Canberra Declaration is to advocate for family, faith, freedom and life.
Our management team felt moved to call people of faith to pray and fast for rain through the month of October.
Our farmers in the bush are doing it tough. They need our support at this time. The poem Rain from Nowhere is a great insight into the hardships of drought for Australian farmers.
Our focus was prayer, which arguably is verbal love, but we still knew we needed to put love into action. Love is also doing something. To do this we partnered with Ps Dave Jackson from Western Air Care Ministries to raise money to help drought-stricken farmers.
The Canberra Declaration dedicated over 10% of its yearly fundraising appeal to help the people of the bush. On top of that, we promoted the video of the amazing work of Western Air Care Ministries and encouraged people to give direct to this tax-deductible cause. As of this writing, the money raised direct has exceeded $70,000 and is still rising.
We went out to the outback to do a presentation on behalf of our supporters, so they could be part of blessing the bush. We also created a video story to highlight the immense pressure that the people in the bush are under. In doing so, we interviewed Phil & Toni Clark, a beautiful farming couple who were suffering the effects of the drought. (See it below)
When interviewing Phil Clark, a big burly farmer, I asked a seemingly innocuous question. “Tell us about your family?” With that, he choked up and began to cry, saying, “My wife is the backbone of our family. She keeps me going through the drought… She helps me get through when I no longer can.”Watch it above if you haven’t already.
It is a very powerful story of, ‘Faith, Hope and Love’ in more ways than one!
His courageous tears expressed the upshot of love so eloquently that no more words were needed. His tears will help men all over this nation, going through hard times, to have the bravery to keep on keeping on.
Men really do appreciate their wives’ love and support — they just forget to tell her.
Hopefully, Phil’s tears will also bear testimony of the love men have for their wives when words cannot be found.
Here’s some homework or lovework for you. Every day over the next seven days, tell your wife you love her, and sometime over the next seven days, take your wife out on a date.
You haven’t got time!?! You say you’re too busy! Took her out for dinner two years ago! Maybe that’s the problem. Two years is just a little too long. You can’t afford to? You can’t afford not to!
As the famous basketball player said, ‘Just do it’. For no other reason than that you love her, ‘Just do it!”
Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker.
Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”
The Fatherhood Foundation Incorporated trading as Dads4Kids is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations
Dads4Kids – Building Men. Growing Fathers. Changing Generations.