Dads: The Men, the Myths, the Legends — This idea comes from my sweatshirt with that saying for Grandpas. It is usually good for a laugh, but I think it is also worthy of some serious consideration. We need to sift through the various myths, legends and stereotypes about being a Dad and get down to the realities of being a man.
Myth #1: There is one right way to be a legendary father. Interestingly, the Bible does not give us this narrow prescription for being a Father. Mostly it shows pictures of Dads who botched their jobs — Jacob played favorites that tore the 12 brothers apart. David and Eli refused to discipline obvious sin on the parts of their sons and the consequence was death, murder and civil war. Lot failed his daughters, leading to incest that gave birth to two pagan nations.
Having grown up without a father, I was left to study the lives of Dads around me, especially those whose children were solid believers, living for Christ and eager to serve others and reach the lost for Christ, and who showed proper respect to their Mom and Dad. I found a group of men who were very different in style, but were uniform in their devotion to God and their commitment to love their wives and lead their families to the Lord.
Myth #2 — It takes a Spiritual Giant to raise godly children — The men mentioned above ranged from fairly new believers to those from a Legacy Family Line — Dads with Godly dads for several generations. Some had an extensive knowledge of the scriptures and a few with a seminary degree. But I knew men with similar “credentials” of the faith whose children lived messed up lives. Those who appear to be “Spiritual Giants” to others often fail to lead their home well. Humility, teachability and accountability seem to be more common traits of great dads.
Myth #3 — I should already know what I am doing — Men really struggle to let anyone know that they feel clueless as to what they should be doing as a dad. Perhaps it is linked to our aversion to reading the Owner’s Manuals and directions. (I know, some of you read them cover to cover. Kudos to you.) But how would we know? Many of us are the product of dysfunctional homes. And, if our dads weren’t dysfunctional, very few dads actually talk through what they are doing and disciple their kids in how to father. Most assume that their children catch it through observation.
Most profitable to me was being in a men’s Bible study and having men share openly about their challenges with their children and their wives. Then the more mature men in the group would serve as sounding boards to provide wisdom. All of us would study the scripture looking for principles that would apply. But as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpened another. (Proverbs 27:17)
Real Men Yearn to Glorify God through Successfully Discipling Their Children. But many of us do not know how to begin or how to keep building on what we have at present. Veritas provides us with a rich environment to be transparent about our need for help and have men around from whom we can learn. I really enjoyed the men’s panel during Paideia — The Pivotal Role of the Veritas Dad. This would be great to rewatch if you were there and critical to watch if you missed it. Nathanael Buus, Brice Kopas and Nick Dunlap shared great values and ideas so that we can be the men, husbands and fathers that we need to be.
Also, now that I am Family Ministries Director, I am available to meet with you men either individually or in groups to encourage and provide counsel on this crucial role. Click here to pick an appointment time. . The lack of dads and successful fathering is greatly responsible for the crisis the church and country are in today. Let us build together a new heritage for our families and our school by becoming intentional and effective fathers.
Yours for building strong families,