There was a time, not long ago, when I would jump on Facebook every morning with pure enthusiasm. Starting my day scrolling through my loved ones’ latest adventures provided just enough connection to give my extroverted soul the boost it needed to kick the day off right. 

But somewhere along the way, things changed. Although I still enjoy seeing and celebrating everyone’s families and accomplishments, clicking on that little blue app each morning now brings a new wave of anxiety I never used to experience. I am afraid of what I might see. What I might learn.

I never dreamed I would see the day when I would not only fear, but expect to hear regularly about school shootings. Where young, broken, hurting people chose violence over conversation. Hatred over love.

No longer do I find myself worrying about if something will happen, but when. The reality of the situation is not only sad, it is downright heartbreaking. But it has gotten me thinking.

In this fallen world we live in, what can we do to make better world for our children?

On Memorial Day, my family went fishing at a local lake. While I was busy organizing the picnic on the beach, I looked up briefly to find my toddler son sitting on my husband’s lap, a line already in the water. That’s when it hit me:

What if all it takes to change the world is a good dad and a fishing pole? 

No doubt about it, as moms we are some of the most influential people in our children’s lives. But parenthood is meant to be a partnership, and there is much to be said about the value of having a good father.

As I sat on that sandy beach watching my boys fish without me, I knew this seemingly insignificant event was important. I was watching my husband lay a foundation. A special place for years to come that he and my son will go to get away and connect.

Armed with nothing but a fishing pole, my son will be able to talk to his dad about the things that truly matter to him. Over time, their conversation will likely transition from Hot Wheels and airplanes to real cars and cute girls. He will grow to have a better understanding of his faith, and learn what it means to be a man. As much as I want him to talk to me about anything, I know some topics will be saved specifically for dad; his confidante and best friend.

I can’t help but wonder if the young men who were desperate enough to bring guns to school had fathers who took the time to take them fishing. Did they know that life can be so different—so fantastic—outside of those four walls? Likewise, would the girls who are turning to drugs and sex have looked elsewhere if they’d had a dad show them what real love looks like? To let them know their value comes from Someone much higher?

My husband will always find his best conversations are had with a rod and reel in-hand. Perhaps for your family, it’s different. What matters is that our children find a place to connect with us that is secure and comfortable. A place they can leave less angry than they arrived.

While we can’t expect to find perfect peace this side of Heaven, I believe as parents we hold the key to our children’s future. Right now, we have the power to shape the world they are going to take over. Perhaps making a change for the better is not as hard as we think it is. Maybe it is as simple as finding the time.

Time for family dinners around the dining room table. Time for tech-free game nights. Time for Sunday drives. 

And maybe—when the weather is just right—time for a day spent fishing with dad.


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Kayla Runkel

Kayla is a former marketer turned stay-at-home-mom to two sweet boys. You can follow her blog, The Rustic Hideaway, or her writing page, K.C. Runkel. When she is not writing, Kayla loves teaching fitness classes, reading books, and spending time with her husband and sons exploring her favorite place in the world, Wyoming. Or as she simply calls it: home.