Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Manly Man Training #15: Courageous Fatherhood

The world needs courageous fathers!  Somewhere along the way many fathers have gotten the impression that they do not have many or even any responsibilities with the kids, or that they can pick and choose the duties that they will fulfill for their children.  As a result of this our role as fathers has been made into slapstick and played for laughs in movies and other media.  That continues the downward spiral by giving new generations of men the idea that they are not capable or needed as a father in the home. As it stands 43% of American children live without a father in the home. 
A new movie is coming out later this summer called Courageous that deals with the importance of fathers stepping up and being an integral part of the family.  I applaud this movie and it's attempt.  Below you can look at the trailer for the movie.  I saw it when I was in the theater watching Soul Surfer.  One scene I remember was a man talking to some of his buddies saying something like, "I have been half of a father to my children and I want to be better."  "Don't be so rough on yourself" says one of his friends.  Then he determines he is going to do a better job and be a part of his children's life.  His wife is disbelieving but begins to trust him when she sees some of his efforts. 
Courageous movie trailer
That is what we need to do as Manly Men.  We need to be willing to do the hard as well as the simple things with and for our children.  We need to do better at sharing the duties of parenting with our wife. As we do this we will feel a greater part of our children's lives and see and feel the benefits of becoming a father. 

Elder Packer tells us some of the benefit of being more involved: "To you who are young, this experience of loving someone more than you love yourself can come, insofar as I  know, only through the exercise of the power of creation.  Through it you become really Christian." (Boyd K. Packer address to CES personnel at BYU, 15 July 1958)  I understand that to mean not just the act of procreation, but inclusive of the daily actions of protecting, raising, teaching, and loving that child is what helps us "become really Christian". 

Click here if you want to see a bunch of statistics that help tell the story of how important a father can be in a child's life.  The truth is that father's are as indispensable as are mothers.  Our society has grown away from that belief but the truth, as usual, hasn't changed. 

Naturally we can't change nor help and protect every child.  We can however do what is needed with our own children.  Those of you who haven't had any children yet need to commit yourself to this.  It will not be easy nor convenient, but if you put your priorities in a more Godly order then you will recognize that your "creations" need the same attention and caring and preparing and teaching and so forth that our God gives to us.  In my mind, being a father and parent in general, is training to help us be more like our Heavenly Father.  So while our children need us, in reality we need them too. 

As we recognize things that our children need to be taught, we find that we have a greater desire to be that good example too them.  Now, all of a sudden, when you have that child in your arms and in your life you have stronger reasons to be the person you always knew you could be and wanted to be.  With that child everything is multiplied because your example will now last generations and not just die with you. Tens and hundreds, even thousands of lives will be blessed, or cursed by your choices

Here's some beginning things to teach your children from David O' McKay"We should ...awaken in the minds of the youth a realization that to be honest, to be dependable, to be a loyal citizen of the country, to be true to the standards of the gospel are the noblest ideals of life" (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 264).

1 comment:

  1. very cool!! that movie looks AWESOME!!! it is so reassuring to see someone making a movie that highlights the importance of fatherhood and shows fathers actively working to become better in their role as head of a family. it makes me feel good inside to know that other people recognize a father's influence and are creating something that will be out in the public sphere for everyone to see if they choose. i hope it will inspire lots of fathers and future fathers!! i definitely want to see that!!

    i also think it was pretty profound when you said "So while our children need us, in reality we need them too." it seems like Heavenly Father has created so many things to be like that in this life - where one thing/person alone is incomplete but in conjunction with another thing/person(s) it creates completion in many ways. i am excited to start my own family because i know there is much more for me to learn from my future children :) and i'm excited to help them learn how to be good people too!! :)


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