Lance’s Descent Teaches Us About How to Be a Good Dad

Print Friendly

 

Lance Armstrong had a lot riding on his reputation.

His story was so inspiring. He was so easy to cheer for and admire. You might respect what he accomplished on a bicycle, which was unprecedented … the stuff of legend. Combine that with the fact that he’s a cancer survivor and “livestrong” activist, he and the yellow wristbands have been an inspiration to millions around the world.

But now it appears that’s all gone. The courageous hero has been exposed as something much less noble, and possibly even criminal.

Lance is an easy target right now, and it’s not my purpose to try to bury him or the other professional cyclists who admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. Years ago, the Center actually applauded Lance because he was a great story and he appeared to be a committed dad. For me, it always comes back to the powerful influence of a father, and it grieves me to see men using that power irresponsibly.

I’m sure Lance Armstrong will get by even without a good reputation in the eyes of the public. It’s a tragic development for cancer patients—many of whom viewed him as a hero—and I certainly hope that community continues to gain momentum.

But more than anything, I keep thinking about what he is surely losing with his children in terms of character and integrity. That’s where his reputation matters most, and they have to be questioning their dad’s character. If not today, they will some day.

It shows me once again that although results are important, how we achieved those results and how we carried ourselves along the way are even more important. Great results attained by dishonesty or taking shortcuts really aren’t great results, right?

This speaks directly to the Championship Fathering fundamental of modeling—setting an example for our children to follow. And it starts with dads, each of us, getting our act together. We are always setting an example; and we have to be intentional about making sure it’s a good example.

Men, we have to guard our integrity. We can do honorable things with our lives, help thousands of people and be great men 99 percent of the time, but it only takes one bad mistake to bring it all crashing down. We can’t be too careful when it comes to doing the right thing. One poor decision or indiscretion could cost each of us dearly. We should eliminate or avoid anything we wouldn’t want to show up in our children’s lives.

I never want to be in a situation that would be hard to explain if one of my children showed up. I can’t always control their choices, but I can do something about mine! We need to pay attention to what our kids are picking up from us, and make corrections where we can.

I would also add: when you’re separated from your kids for days or weeks, or only for hours during the day, commit yourself to integrity all the time. Doing what’s right in your work, having high character, and treating people with dignity all make you a better man, which makes you a better father. It’s all connected! How you carry yourself in your other areas of life will spill over to your kids. Even when life is against you or if your kids’ mom is making your life difficult, do the right thing and keep your poise. In the long run, your kids will notice and appreciate you for maintaining a high reputation and a virtuous life

Dad, you too have a lot riding on your reputation! Character is everything.

Please share: It’s easy to see and judge mistakes by public figures. How have YOU made changes in your life so you can set a better example for your kids? Join the discussion either below or on our Facebook page.

ACTION POINTS for Dads on the Journey

  • Tell your wife or a close friend one habit you’re going to change because you want to be a better dad.
  • When you’ve been cruel or insensitive to your child, be quick to confess your mistake, apologize, and talk about better ways to handle those situations.
  • What kind of man do you want your son to be? What kind of man do you hope your daughter marries someday? Be that kind of man!
  • How do you handle frustration and anger? Check out our articles here and here, which should be helpful.
  • Think of positive virtues that your children need to develop, and intentionally start new habits that will demonstrate those virtues.

 

Carey CaseyCarey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a great dad who loves, coaches, mentors, and inspires my children.

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Comments

  1. You assume he did it.

    I believe he did not dope. The French NEVER provided proof. No one did, in the hundreds of tests he performed in and out of his cycling career.

    In my mind, he will always be our Hero, and maybe even more so, as he has shown that he does not need medals, trophy’s, or Yellow Jerseys to show how one can be the best at what they do. How has he shown his real character in doing this. In telling everyone, “I do not need these tangible items to prove who I am.” This is a quality I’d like to teach my kids.

    • I agree, what I got from this was he is just tired of having to defend himself every other year and he just is thinking “take it all away if it will end this circus”. I don’t blame him, what was going through the repeated scrutiny doing to his kids. I think he has just shown his kids that somethings (trophys and jerseys) are not worth going through a living hell for. I applaud him.

      If he was guilty, it would have been proven years ago. It didn’t take them long to bust Floyd, and he was doing it after Lance retired.

      • As a Father, I disagree with quick judgement of anyone. I believe that we should not rush to judgement at all, but instead suport one another. If you are a father you should know that after a divorce, we are blamed, after a forclosure, we are blamed, if you are every falsely accused of abuse, you know as a father you are guilty until proven innocent. All the presure is on us, the only thing that will help is if we give every father the benefit of the doubt. One day Casey, someone will accuse you of something, and the next person will ask you to step down, then apologize for the mistake later.

        As one Father to another, Lance, if you tell me you are innocent, then I believe you. We must start to support each other, Allah knows that there are times as a Father, you stand alone!

        Joel Austin

  2. I don’t like to pass judgement on any fathers. I believe at the core…all dads want to do well. While some actions from fathers may be questionable, to say that Lance has “lost character and integrity” with his kids is a perspective that is short of being supportive. I know you are trying to make a point. I get it. However, your message of encouragement is lost when your statement is judgmental. I like this organization and it’s purpose. I just caution your position on issues like Lance’s.

  3. Its too bad we worship athletes because they are human too. Lance lost my respect when he left his wife. He didn’t keep his vows and he gave up even though he is a competitor. I’m sure his kids would rather have a dad & mom who are together than to have people say their dad was a 7-time champion. My dad was no athlete or scholar. But he has been faithful to my mom for 45 years and counting. He walks with God. That is the legacy I’m after. I’m proud of him and proud to be his son.

    • Santa D Thompson says:

      PTL!…Thank you Darren for echoing my message to my husband all the time about children tender hearts’ desire is to be “raised in their home and see their father love and their mother well”…And we know GOD is at the center of the home and living GOD-fearing lives and are reverent to HIM, not man…So to GOD I am grateful for my husband of almost 34 years who is always in process and “being transformed” by the Holy Spirit.
      Man will never be perfect and we all make bad decisions…Hence we all need JESUS to save us from our sin nature…And let us pray for Lance, his children, family and “teammates” that really it is not about You!…”So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do…do it to the Glory of GOD” (I Corinthian 10:31)

  4. It’s too bad we worship athletes because they are human too. Lance lost my respect when he left his wife. He didn’t keep his vows and quit even though he is a competitor. I’m sure his kids would rather have a dad & mom who are together than to have people say their dad was a 7-time champion. My dad was no athlete or scholar. But he has been faithful to my mom for 45 years and counting. He walks with God. That is the legacy I’m after. I’m proud of him and proud to be his son.

  5. Santa D Thompson says:

    Thank you! All you Champion Men who love the LORD!

Speak Your Mind

*

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *