Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fatherhood...and the next two weeks.

"I have never seen two fathers that are sooo good with their babies as you two."  This was said to me and a close friend today.  It came from a grandmother from my church.  Now it was a really nice thing to hear, and it was a compliment very well received.  But as I was driving home from church today, I started thinking about this comment.  Not so much that I deserved this compliment, or that it made me proud to be a father.  But rather that here is a lady that has seen her fair share of fathers in her lifetime.  And she has pegged my close friend and I as two of the best dads she's seen (she said this in front of her husband too!).  What really struck me is what this really says about our society.

Now I know that this is one grandmother's opinion, but why isn't it common place for fathers to be fully active and involved with their infants?  Why is it so strange to see fathers coddling, feeding (obviously not breastfeeding), and playing with their infants?  Is it some sort of stigma that keeps fathers from engaging their newborns?  Is there some sort of natural instinct that keeps fathers at bay until the little girls can play dress up, or the little boys can throw a pigskin?  Is it that fathers are more than likely afraid of "breaking" their newborns?

I honestly don't know what it is.  I don't know what I'm doing different.  I don't know if I'm doing anything different at all.  I'm just fathering the way I feel I should father.  We've seen many different studies that show the importance of a father in the development of a child.  We've seen studies that show emotional and psychological instability in people (not all) without any sort of present father.

So my question is, how do we change this trend?  How do we, as men, change the stereotype of the absent, sports addicted, beer drinking simpleton as a father?  Like in most things, the only way we can even start to change is to change ourselves first.  I'm going to continue to be a different kind of father.  I'm not going to be the Ray Romano or the Jim Belushi. I'm not going to be the father that works 80 hours a week to provide things to my kids.  I refuse to be.  Sure I like football and golf, and I love my job.  But that doesn't give me an excuse to be an absent father.  Once you become a father, you no longer are entitled to time away from your kids.  Sure your gracious wife may give you permission to take a fishing trip with the guys (and you may give her time to go away with the gals).  But once you decide to have a baby (and even though it wasn't a preferred choice, once you have unprotected sex, you're deciding on having a baby), you are a father, a daddy, a man among men.  So let's strap up the steel toes, tighten the belt and start acting like one.

My 2¢.

PS- This week is a big week for me.  First I'm going to Costa Rica on a mission trip on Wednesday.  I will try and post some things about the trip while I'm down there.  I'm hoping to bring my old digital camera to take some pics of the work we're doing and the people we're working with.

Also this week I start my 40 days sans internet.  Sure I'm going to be posting blogs about my trip, but that along with emailing my wife are the only things I'm going to be using the internet for.  You can see my blog on my fast here. 

So now I will be on my way, ¡Hasta luego!

1 comment:

Jay Miklovic said...

here is something to think about while you blog fast.

If Christian fathers actually took their role seriously with regard to raising children from infants to teenagers would there be any need in the church for children's and youth ministries?

Personally, The longer I do youth ministry, the less I believe that we even need youth ministry, but instead we need parent driven ministries, in which parents are being trained to do the jobs they have chosen to pay us youth ministers to do instead. I hope to minister myself right out of a job someday!