By popular demand (ok, as a result of one comment yesterday), here's the notes for my all-age talk for Fathers Day.
How is a father like a football team?
Striker/Attacker: goes and gets the goals. Fathers are often the breadwinner, on the front line. They also need to provide leadership, to help their families win.
Defender: protects the family, tackles what needs to be tackled (from DIY, to conflict issues within the family) – tackle the threats to your family: bad influences, habits, temptation, making sure the family spends time together, talks, plays.
Goalkeeper: or goal-keeper. What are your goals? Do you have an idea of the kind of family you’d like to be? Fathers need to have a vision of the good family and to promote it and work towards it. Sometimes it's easier to let things drift. Also, sometimes the goalkeeper has to pick the ball out of the net – times when you’ve got to be humble, and admit that things have failed. But then you start again.
Midfield: lots of running around, joining things up, keep things connected. Connect to your wife – talk, have special time with each other (when did you last have an evening out? Church/cells should enable this – babysit kids so that mothers and fathers can have quality time together). Connect to your children – play, spend time with them, show them the things you’re passionate about (taught my kids to play cards and cricket). Connect with other dads and men, need support.
Finally, stay in touch with the Manager.
all of the above with pics of the relevant England players on powerpoint. Or, if we lose tonight, South Americans. It needs quite a bit of polishing up, and we're going to give out Mars bars to all the blokes in church ('work rest and play' as the old slogan went, and they're all World Cup themed this year).