It goes without saying, that the choice a man makes regarding his approach to being/not being a Father, will impact his children in some way- be it good or bad.
With each new Fathers Day, I tend to see three dominant types of fathers day posts:
– The people celebrating their Fathers/in laws who have been there and are present
– The people remembering their Father who has passed away
– The people who never did or no longer have an active father figure, but shout out all the men who have either Stepped In and Stepped Up, in their immediate life or examples they have seen.
Today at church, my Pastor was really honest about some of the issues and experiences that determine a mans view and attitude towards Fatherhood. During the service he did something very profound. He invited all the men in church to the front and all the women prayed over them. But it wasn’t just ‘Let’s pray all these men will become or continue to be great Fathers’. He actually focused the prayers more on addressing, healing and growing from the generational, spiritual and societal issues that have influenced mens thoughts and actions towards being a Father.
This really touched me to be honest. Especially seeing all the young guys being prayed over. It reminded me of all the potential we have in the men of this generation, and the importance of having the right mindset towards being a Father.
During the sermon he touched on some key issues –
1. What it actually means to be a Father beyond the ‘protector & provider’ model
2. The Struggles of Being a Father and the stages of that journey
3. The deep rooted and generational issues that impact why so many men refuse to, don’t actually know how to, fear to, or fail to be a ‘good’ Father
4. HOW do we tackle and address these issues in a way that will implement real positive change for the men in their current journey/battles through Fatherhood and the next generation
Reflecting on everything spoken about in todays service, reminded me of a conversation I had with my younger brother over lunch last Sunday. My brother and I did not grow up with a close relationship with our Dad (the how and why I will save for another time). However, our relationship with God and each other, has brought us both to a place where we are both actively working on ourselves to be the change we want to see in our future families. My brother opened up to me about being a young man in his early 20s, having to learn a lot about the world without a direct example to ask or guide him, and the struggles, mistakes and lessons that occur as a result. He also spoke a lot about good examples he’s witnessed that have encouraged him in his transition into manhood and the fact that there are currently no way near enough of those examples. But what made me smile the most was when he spoke about the man and father he desires to be one day, the things he wants to do differently from what he experienced and what he has to do to be better. Which tied in with what Pastor was speaking about today.
Obviously I am not a guy lol, so I don’t have all the answers but things that came out during our conversation were
WHAT- what has been your experience of fatherhood and what are your concerns about being a Father
ADDRESS WHY- everything has a root cause –
Be it an absent father, a traumatic experience within their childhood or with their own father, Fear of failure, Unaddressed Anger Issues, Never discussing or acknowledging emotion, Abuse, Feeling Inadequate, Insecurity, Lack of seeing or feeling affection, Growing up with a bad example of Fatherhood, Financial struggle, etc to name a few.
But what i’m learning is that until you address the why it will be very difficult to know HOW to become better- if you have a desire to do so.
‘HOW’– This could include so many things including:
Counselling– Regardless of gender, talking about your issues with someone you know and trust that has the expertise you need and can give you sound advice is a great way to start
Prayer– ‘Teach me, mould me and equip me to be the Father I never had’ – no one can teach you better than ‘the Father’
Feed Your Mind- Have conversations, Watch Videos/sermons or talk to people who have overcome things you’re facing, etc
Company you Keep– Observing and surrounding yourself with Positive Role Models and Examples of Men and Fathers who inspire you
Accountability– Having that open and honest convo with a male mentor who will teach, advice and help you maintain your momentum and push through the struggles.
Being a Father is not easy, and what makes a good Father is highly subjective.
No one is perfect, and the reality is, some men don’t want to be a father, some men may not know how to be a father for various reasons, some men may not be a good Father unknowingly, some may have no desire to change and others may really want to be better but don’t really know how to start.
If you are someone who may not have or have never had a good or active relationship with your father, rather than focusing on what you Don’t have, try to start focusing on What you do have which is:
– A huge generation of experienced fathers, new fathers and Potential fathers and sons who live in a hard world
– A FUTURE, which means you have the time, knowledge and examples to become an even better father and family than what you have seen.
To be honest, I woke up feeling very indifferent about Fathers Day. But hearing Pastor talk today and seeing all those men being prayed over by the women in church was refreshing, and reminded me that even if you can’t change your today, you can still influence your tomorrow.
I truly believe Gods love and Power can heal and Override Anything- my own life is a testament to that.
For men and women who grew up without consistent fathers, or without the best examples, Do not limit what YOU can be based on your past or your present. If you allow God to be the author of your future, He will exceed your own expectations of what you want your own family to become.
He can turn even the most unlikely example into a phenomenal inspiration for the next generation and there are already some AMAZING examples out there.
SIDENOTE: As women, we need to be honest with ourselves about our own issues with men and Fatherhood, and be wise about the man we choose to spend our life with. Observe their relationship with their own parents and the traits they may have picked up-good and bad. Equally, be a good listener, should they choose to express their concerns about Fatherhood to you and let your actions and prayers always encourage the best to be birthed out of them.
Today, I prayed not only for my family now, but for my future family and all men in this generation- I placed all the negative stigmas, generational curses, positive/negative experiences, fears, pressures, habits they are and will be faced with into God hands. Regardless of what the world says or perpetuates about Fathers, His will is greater.
Lets maintain a positive attitude towards Fatherhood and continue to counteract the negative experiences, stereotypes, stigmas and patterns we may have seen or experienced with examples of amazing Fathers and become them!
To every Father that is present thank you! Keep showing up daily and keep doing a great job! And for every potential and future Father of this generation- You Got This!
Dedicated to my brother x