Hey Dads –How to be the Righteous Dad!
Proverbs 23: 24 – 25
The father of the righteous will be very happy; the one who gives life to the wise will rejoice. Your father and your mother will rejoice; she who gave you birth will be happy.
Ok, so the “old” adage is that it takes two to tango. But I have a feeling that in this Tip it is particularly important to think about and pray about the role of the father in the raising of the children. There are some spectacular father role models in Scripture. Each is unique and each have a different way of fathering. I am sure that history will tell different tales about these men, but each tried to their best to raise their children in accordance with the messages which they received from the Father – the Creator!
The scripture speaks to us of the lives of Noah, Lot, Abraham, Moses, Isaac, David, Job, Hosea, Joseph, and Simon Peter. Read cautiously and listen to their life stories. Struggle with them through the difficult decisions they had to make when raising their sons and daughters.
The job (vocation) of fatherhood is spoken about in the early Hebrew Scriptures in Deuteronomy 6: 5 – 9 when the author said:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your strength. These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are getting up. Tie them on your hand as a sign. They should be on your forehead as a symbol. Write them on your house’s doorframes and on your city’s gates.
Parenting is a couples’ vocation – a family vocation – a gift from the Creator and it takes two to make and set the environment for healthy and happy for the children. Yes, I understand that in some households there are single parent situations, but men models can also demonstrate the same roles and set the paths clear for the children. Dads are very important. From the moment of conception, to participation in the process of birthing, to helping with the day-to-day tasks of structuring the dynamics of a family, to laughing, crying, guiding, disciplining, healing, forgiving, having fun and being serious, the Dad role is critical. Dads are the co-creators of their children and they are asked to take equal responsibility in the growth and development of their marriage as also with the growth and development of their children.
Too often we hear that it is the moms job to raise the child, this is just not so! Dads need to work with their spouses to help frame and create an environment helping their children to feel safe and secure. Further, they need to create an environment in which to experience and learn about the dynamics of living a healthy, value-based, prosperous, and happy life. Remember: it takes two to tango!
Dads need to learn about their sensitive, understanding, challenging, and creative side. Fathering is not about him rather Dads’ need to learn from their experiences, and work with their wife and children to walk together – not an easy task! The father needs to teach the child about life skills but he also needs to show the child those skills that are special for a dad which complement the skills of a mom. Teaching the child about male and female models of life is really critical to a well-balanced upbringing process for the children The National Center for Fathering lists some skill sets for the dad: loving, coaching, modeling, encouraging and enlisting – we would all do well to learn more about these skill sets. Takes a lot of work, yes, but it is totally worth it from the vantage of the child.
Finally, I close with a poem:
What makes a Dad – (author unknown)
God took the strength of a mountain, The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun, The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature, The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages, The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring, The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity, The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities, When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it … Dad
Silently reflect on the following and share with your partner:
- What did you learn from your father about fatherhood? What did your wife learn from her father about fatherhood? Discuss the similarities and dissimilarities.
- As a couple, how do you see the roles of fatherhood and motherhood evolving for your children. What do you do when you agree? What about disagreements? Do you feel that you work together as parents? Complimentary? Discuss.