“Every father should remember one day his [child] will follow his example, not his advice.” Charles Kettering

Happy Father’s Day dads!  Whether you receive socks, BBQ utensils, a Leatherman multitool, or hand-crafted cards, I hope you get to enjoy the day with those who call you “Dad.”

Newsweek magazine once ran a cover story on former General Electric CEO Jack Welch. Lionized for helping GE grow over 100-fold during his 20 year tenure, Welch wrote his book, “Winning,” to describe his eight “rules” for running a successful business. While Welch obviously knows how to run a large company, I was stunned by one of his comments on work and family: “Your boss’s top priority is competitiveness. Of course he wants you to be happy, but only inasmuch as it helps the company win. In fact, if he is doing his job right, he is making your job so exciting that your personal life becomes a less compelling draw.”

Welch’s phrase that stuck in my mind is “that your personal life becomes a less compelling draw.” What does he mean? I wanted to ask him, “Do you mean ‘personal life’ as in marriage, children, service to others or health?” Two weeks later, in a letter to the Newsweek editor, Mark Logan of Santa Barbara reacted to this very statement: “Jack Welch’s views on “winning” epitomize the pathology of American culture: addiction to power, status and money at the expense of family.”

There is no doubt that Jack Welch is much admired by many. Newsweek wouldn’t have put him on its cover if he wasn’t. But on this Father’s Day, I would remind our Dads that no one ever lies on his deathbed and wishes he had put in more hours at the office. Yes, we have work responsibilities and we are called by God to carry them out with excellence and due diligence. However, if you don’t make time to be your kids’ Dad, who will?

Here’s a final quote, both challenging yet reassuring, from J. Philip Wogaman: “On all hands we see people who need to be successful as a way of reassuring themselves that their lives matter. It is a way of saving oneself, peculiarly suited to the modern world. Christians do not need this form of reassurance, having already the deeper assurance of God’s love in Jesus Christ.”

Andy Wall
Author: Andy Wall