When I was a teenager, I was bought locks to protect my things (I was partial to Master locks because they were tough and strong). I had one for my locker, one for my bike, and one for a little safe that I used to store my money and baseball cards. The locks worked well and I never worried about someone taking my items because I knew they were secure.
As I grew older, I continued to rely on locks to protect my valuables. They gave me a sense of security. When I got married and became a father, my perspective changed. No longer did I worry as much about protecting material items. My focus shifted to protecting my family. Of course I still invested in locks and security systems to make sure that our home was safe. But there are a few intangible things that you can’t place a lock on.
My family is the most valuable thing in my life and protecting them is my most important job as a husband and father. Beyond protecting them physically, I must protect them spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally.
I want to protect my 12-year old daughter’s self-esteem. She is beautiful, smart, and creative. However, she doesn’t always see herself this way. She allows insecurities to get in the way. I do my part to help her develop a strong sense of self by complimenting her, showering her with hugs and kiss, giving her words of encouragement, and telling her how much she me means to me. During the times when she’s down on herself, I remind her that she was created to be a strong, confident woman. She has the power to change the world and I want her to own it.
I want to protect my 10-year old son’s innocence. He’s so trusting and curious. I love seeing the world through his eyes. Just the other day, we were talking about Martin Luther King, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement. My son was appalled that people would treat each other so badly.
“Was Santa alive back then?” He asked.
“Yes,” I replied a little confused by his question.
“Why didn’t he just put all of the bad people on the naughty list?” He asked. “That would have ended racism immediately.”
My son often comes up with these simple solutions to complex issues. Sometimes I’ll elaborate on the nuance of these issues to help him understand more completely. Other times, I marvel at his innocence and ask him to elaborate. Kids grow up too fast and our society makes it easy for them to fast-forward through childhood. I intend to allow my son to be a kid as long as possible even if it means believing in the magic of Santa.
I want to protect my six year old son’s heart. He is such a loving soul and wears his emotions for all to see. He’s affectionate, compassionate, and giving. I worry that people will take advantage of him and trample on his loving heart. Sometimes I feel compelled to toughen him up and teach him to mask his emotions to prevent heartache, pain, and ridicule. However, I refuse to extinguish these important character traits that make him who he is. Besides, I was just like him when I was a kid. I intend to nurture his compassion and teach him the importance to loving and caring for others. His capacity to love will be his greatest strength.
Most of all, I want to protect my marriage. My wife and I have been married for over 16 years. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve pushed through the hard times and created a strong relationship based on trust, love, and mutual respect. My wife is my best friend, confidant, and life partner. I wouldn’t want to spend my life with anyone else.
If Master lock were to create a product that could protect these priceless items, I’d be the first in line to buy it. Until then, I’ll guard my family’s invaluable treasures with only my heart.
Join the conversation: How do you protect your family: emotionally, physically, and spiritually?
Disclosure: I’m a paid member of he Master Live Crew.