My topic today is that Dads are important to a family.
Without a good view of what a father is, few of us can see God well. I see people we minister to here struggle with seeing God well due to broken relationships with their father. My own relationship with God and my kids is still harmed by the example of father I got from my Dad.
In my family, I tend to encourage kids to climb the mountain and get up after they fall. I want then to be great.
Mom wants them to be understood and comforted.
We need both. When we first had children, I read an article that noted that men are more about achieving and women about caring.
It says our problem is that we see women being softer, and so we men are tougher to create balance. Then the mother sees the man is too tough and gets even softer to balance. The result is too very different styles at war. I am talking in averages here and know some women are all law and order and achievement while the men want the kids to stay home. I think even when things look outside the average we can all still learn, so let me move on.
A better goal is to both seek the middle. The softer mother should try to get tougher like Dad and the tougher Dad should try to learn softer like Mom has, so the family is together. This creates oneness that I think makes God smile. That is the path we chose here.
Anyway, to even consider this path, a father needs to engage his kids a ton.
Dads are Important – Our Method
I got my kids to bed every night from age 0-10. Foremost, I established a rock solid habit of first reading children’s book to kids. (I think Bernstein Bears were their favorites.) Usually, I read three books a night to the kids and personally loved these stories and sometimes cried. Then I would pray with and for them. Then they they would brush teeth and hug their Mom and go to bed. I enforced the pattern until it worked well. I got the kids up in the morning and got them to eat breakfast.
Mom got the kids in the middle of the day as I went to work. Jo learned a ton from me on letting the kids be free and letting them get sick and such issues. I did not learn enough from her. I took the kids outside for many hours every weekend. The zoo was our favorite place. We usually had a yearly pass. I would take the kids there, and Jo would rest at home.
Cracks in the Path
By the time the kids got to be about 10, cracks in the wall started to appear. For example, my oldest quit school in 7th grade for three quarters. so she could learn from her mom. Jo’s ability to see the kids and comfort and guide them rose to the fore as the kids got older. Then I needed to learn these attitudes and behaviors. (That oldest just got 1550 on her SAT. Quitting school was one of the best decisions she ever made.) See also God Help Us Men.
My kids are good kids. I would not trade then for any other. We have our struggles, but I am super happy with my decision to engage my kids and wife.
I think God made men to be a full part of their families. Thus, two become one. Dads are important. Let’s not be the missing link.