Name: Justin Hensley | City: Killeen, Texas | IG: @Jhens__
What does being a father mean to you?
Being a father can be summarized in 3 words; sacrifice, commitment, and demonstration.
Sacrifice- As a father you learn that your children are depending on you. You have to be willing to go without in order for your children to have what they need.
Commitment- Being a father isn’t a part time job. You can’t pick and choose when you want to be in your child’s life. Your presence will always be better than presents.
Demonstration- While it’s important to talk to your kids, it’s even more important to ensure that your life is aligned with what you tell them. Actions always speak louder than words.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
My father was ALWAYS there for me. He was at every sporting event, worked to make sure I had what I needed, and he also pushed me.
He helped me to understand what it means to make sacrifices for your family. He also helped me to see that it’s important to be there for your children even when they do wrong.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
1. Challenge my kids to be the best that they can be
2. Teach my kids to finish what they start (never quit)
3. Teach my kids that ALL things are possible with God!
4. Communication- Looking back, I wish that we had better communication. I knew my dad loved me and would do anything for me but I was always scared to go to him to talk. I was scared to talk to him about any issues that I may have been experiencing and I honestly don’t know that I knew how.
Suppressing emotions and holding on to things can be very detrimental. As a father, I make sure I ask questions and also do all that I can to ensure my kids understand that it’s ok to talk to me and it’s also ok to express yourself.
I also embrace my kids’ individuality. Oftentimes, parents force their children to conform to what the world says they should do (college or military). I love to foster an environment where my kids feel free to be themselves.
Lastly, I didn’t come from money but my father definitely spoiled me to the best of his ability. I strive to give my kids what I didn’t have and I’m committed to leaving them an inheritance.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
After college, I moved to Texas and it took me 10 months to find a job. This was difficult because I had a wife and a daughter to provide for. During this 10 months, I learned to have patience and also learned to have faith in God.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
A lot of people say “I’m not ready to have kids”.
The truth of the matter is that you can never be ready. Though you may be financially stable, fatherhood is a process and you learn with experience.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
I truly appreciate everything that you’ve ever done for me. You were there to cheer me on during my celebratory moments; you were also there for me when I got into trouble with the law and didn’t know what my future would look like.
As a kid, I always wanted to make you proud. When I was on the basketball court, the football field, or the baseball field; the biggest thing that I wanted to do was make you proud. Today I am a man with a wife and my own children but that hasn’t changed. I still want to make you proud!
I love you,
|List 5 fathers you cosign. (Add their IG names)|