Fatherhood Still Matters

Last month, I shared some thoughts about the legacy of motherhood. If you missed that, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read it. Today, I’d like to talk briefly about dads.

My life as a young man was significantly impacted by fatherhood. Some of these impacts were negative and others were positive. As a five-year-old boy, I struggled greatly with my father’s decision to leave my mother and his 3 children. His estrangement made a deep-cutting mark on me at this young age. I struggled with feelings of abandonment and anger and this resulted in my acting out negatively at times in response to these hurts.

As my mom moved on and found a level of strength and spirituality that she hadn’t discovered prior to this hurtful betrayal, she met a guy I now believe was a gift from God Himself. My stepdad came into the picture and almost immediately began to fill the void of my dad and the need I had as a young man for a positive male role model. He was strong, smart, caring, and unselfish. A man’s man in every way, but one with a softer side too who said kind words and encouraged and helped others to learn and do new things.

Over time, I also built a relationship with my father. He taught me my work ethic and my value for generosity. I am grateful for the restoration that has happened in his life with God and his relationship with his children and my mom and stepdad.

My wife and I both interestingly come from divorced families and we have different but similar impacts from our respective absent father wounds. We have both thankfully healed by the grace of God, but in journeying through our lives we have come to strongly believe that fathers still matter, even in today’s society which at times seems to suggest otherwise.

Why do fathers matter so much? Here are my wife’s and my top 10 list for why dads really do still matter!

  1. To teach the value of being strong and working hard.
  2. To model goodness, caring, kindness, and love of others in their family and their community.
  3. To love their sons and their daughters in a way that only dads can, unconditionally and always being there to reliably help in a time of need.
  4. To teach their children new things, new skills, new ways of thinking, and how to have fun and laugh at yourself on occasion.
  5. To demonstrate how a man should honor, love, and respect a woman.
  6. To emulate the way a woman deserves to be honored, loved, and respected.
  7. To exemplify an authentic, humble, and vulnerable version of a man, who is ok with being wrong at times and can ask for forgiveness.
  8. To show how to overcome fear and not be held back in life and how to do scary, hard things.
  9. To teach how to manage a budget and be a leader within the family in providing and protecting the family’s financial resources.
  10. To model the habits needed to live and lead a healthy life filled with good nutrients, good relationships, and good physical fitness.