Fatherhood – What it really means to be a Dad


Fatherhood. It’s an awesome responsibility. If you know my story, I am the father to three beautiful and awesome kids. Two girls and a boy. My oldest went to be with the Lord about three years ago. Her absence still (and for my natural lifetime will) hurts. Never the less, I always say, that I have three kids. My middle one is 10 years old and my youngest is about to turn a year old in October.

I love being a dad! Considering my family history and background, being a dad is huge to me. There is a lot of emotion and significance that goes into my fatherly roll.

Now, let’s not get words like ‘dad’ or ‘father’ twisted. Anyone can plant a seed and sire a child; the act of procreation alone does not make a man a real father.

So, what is a real father?

He’s a man who invests time in his children. He raises up the next generation to be leaders, so they impact the world around them for good. Our fathers are the ones from whom we’re supposed to get our name and identity.

A real father strives to ensure that his children are stronger, wiser and better prepared to courageously face life and all its challenges. He imbues and instills morality and character into his offspring.

There’s something special about a father. There are unique qualities and traits that only he can give to a child.

The subject of fatherhood is always personal to me. My dad passed way 34 years ago. The ‘father-son’ relationship is something I’ll never really know. Yeah, I have some faint memories of him, but as a whole, there is a large gap left.

I was only six years old when he took his own life; so, there’s not a lifetime, for me to remember. Honestly, one the boldest memories that I have of my dad was when I found him moments after he took his own life.

Not having my father around had a huge impact on my life. It’s why I am who I am today. I don’t say that to be cavalier or dramatic; nor to come off as resentful or bitter. None of that’s the case. I simply mean, that his absence has been deeply felt and been a driving force on my life’s rudder.

The best way I could describe not having my dad around, for the majority of my life, would probably be like losing your hearing at an early age.

If you lost your hearing, while you were still young, you’d have some vague memories of things like birds singning and dogs barking; people laughing and talking. Over time, you’d become accustomed to your new world of silence…but as you watch the motions and activity of that world, you’d always know that you’re missing out.

For everyone else, who hasn’t lost their hearing, they’d be able to fellowship in full audio array and expression; but because you’ve lost your sense of hearing, you’ll never again know that feeling.

I’d equate my experience of losing, and growing up without my dad, with this example of losing the sense of hearing.

When I was a kid, I used to watch all the other kids interact with their dads. I’d see them hang out and play with their dads; sometimes I’d even see them get corrected by their dad. I viewed dads as the umbrella and provider for the family. It’s a father’s job to provide love and security.

Fathers are a critical and vital part of the human experience. As I stated earlier, our dads are where we get our name and identity. They shape and form us in a way that only they can.

Never underestimate the power that a father’s presence has.

Through the father, a child can either learn to be:

  • A dysfunctional looser
  • An abuser and manipulator
  • A liar
  • A spineless coward
  • Always broke and never having enough
  • Abusive and an addict
  • Selfish and lazy
  • Hateful, envious and full of gossip
  • Unbelieving and hopeless
  • Visionless and directionless
  • Unrepentant and unsaved

Or we, as dads, can input into our children (and grandchildren) such things as:

  • How to shake hands and confidently look another person in the eye
  • How to treat (and be treated by) the opposite gender
  • How to keep their word
  • How to defend the helpless
  • How to save money and live prosperous
  • Self-control and temperance
  • How to serve
  • How to love
  • How to have faith and pray
  • Why they were created
  • Who God called them to be

If you’re a dad, I challenge you to look at your role with renewed passion and conviction. I don’t care how old you are, either. As long as you’re drawing breath on this side of eternity, your job as a dad never stops. Sure, our kids grow up and start families of their own, but all that just means that your roll as dad shifts from being protector and provider, to advisor and counselor.

We who are dads (and yes that means you too grand-dad), have the, dare I say, sacred responsibility of developing into the next generation, values and principles which are in direct alignment with God’s vision for humanity.

We ought to view our children (and grand-children) as the next generation of champions who will take more territory, conquer more obstacles, break more barriers, heal more hearts, discover new revelations and save more souls.

Dads step up. Get your kids off the internet. Get them off of the video games.

Stop letting technology and media babysit your kids and start doing your job as a parent.

Nothing…I say again…NOTHING, will ever be able to replace you as a dad. You’re the one who is the vital link in giving your kids vision and purpose; faith and hope.

If you don’t define your child’s identity, the world and its system will…you can take that to the bank.

Spend time talking to them. Be real…be raw…be vulnerable.

Tell them your story. Share what it was like for you growing up. Tell them what hurt…tell them what made you laugh.

Share with them your lessons learned.

In this process, you’ll discover that they will not look at you as a paycheck or dictator; instead they will see and know you as a real dad…the man who guides, provides, protects and loves…no matter what.

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