With all the mixed messages our society is propagating I worry the role of the father is being lost. Now more than ever the Lord’s church and society need men who will accept and rise to the challenge this role presents. Make no mistake about it, this role is a challenge. I hope and pray more members of the church will take this role seriously and apply the same diligence to being a good father as they do to be good employees. My fear is too many men see the home as only a place to relax after work rather than understanding their responsibilities to their wives and children require so much more then just their ability to provide financially.
The following excerpt is from a book I am reading regarding the role of fathers. I thought this author summarized some of these other responsibilities rather well.
How do we intentionally, deliberately, consistently, and adequately prepare our sons for life? Maybe you’ve seen the startling statistics. We know about the sons who have run amuck. We see young men all around us who are crumbling and caving in to drugs, illicit sexual relationships, homosexuality, and bisexuality. We see young men who don’t know how to accept direction or respond appropriately to authority. We wonder, How will my son make it in life? In his work? In his marriage? Will he be a strong Christian or a church dropout? Will he be a careless spender or a financial success? If we’re honest, we know that most men who blow it fall apart in one major area of their life. Maybe it’s a secret attraction to pornography, gambling that gets out of hand, or a bad temper. Whatever it is, it’s that one fatal flaw that goes unchecked or underestimated that eventually pulls a man down. The challenge of preparing a son to be a man of responsibility and integrity is great.
There are seven core issues that every father can work on with his son to lay a foundation of healthy masculine character. They are preparing our sons to be:
- devout disciples of Christ;
- good citizens;
- holders of worthy vocations;
- responsible workers;
- choosers of good friends;
- able to enjoy life;
- sexually chaste; understanding of male sexuality; avoiding the hazards of pornography;
- and lovers of their wives; supporters of their marriages.
Here are a few statistics regarding the “average” father:
- Average father spends 6 min/day with each of his children
- Of that only 35 seconds is dedicated time
- Only 4 of every 10 children live with a father.
I understand most of us are above the average. However, I would bet almost all of us believe there is room for improvement in both the quantity and quality of the time that we spend training our children. My encouragement here is to put forth that effort and consider not only what you tell them, but what you show them.
“…I want my children to know I make mistakes, that I am foolish, proud, and often inconsistent. But I will not tolerate that as an excuse for my hypocrisy. I ask them to help me change as children should, and to expect me to help them change [using] the methods expected of a parent. Others may look to the under-30 crowd for the wisdom to throw away the past and to say what will remain for future generations; others may let the offspring in the house determine the foods, the music, and the spending of the household, but I am going to stay the father. “ – Paul Harvey
Paul Harvey has it right. I make mistakes, I am inconsistent, but I will not let that be an excuse to quit trying or to silence my admonition for doing what is right.
I wanted to conclude with the words of Moses given him by inspiration.
Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel, and he said to them: “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe — all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.” Deut. 32:45-47
Yes you will be exhausted at the end of the day and will not feel like you have anything else to give. It will not seem like your efforts are bearing fruit. In many ways a good father requires everything we have to give and then some. As long as we’re on this earth, our responsibilities remain. We are assured that our faithful efforts will bear fruit. Despite what society or child rearing “experts” may try to propagate, raising children who are well-adjusted, intelligent, requires a mother and father. These roles which require us to rise to the challenges is not a vain thing, and it is a wonderful life. – tdk June 2012
(1) O’Donnell, Michael (2011-10-01). What a Son Needs From His Dad: How a Man Prepares His Sons for Life (Kindle Locations 149-168). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.