“A strong desire, longing or aim; ambition; a goal or objective desired.”
How do men become fathers? Men become fathers through the biological process of sex. But how does one become a daddy? That has nothing at all to do with sex.
One becomes a dad by observing other men already in the role. Hopefully their model is a good one and teaches them sound principles for parenting. I’m convinced that you can’t become a good dad except by observation. That’s a pretty strong statement so let me explain.
CNN reports that over 20 million children will awake this morning without a father in the house. That’s about 1 in 4. Those who are actually “dads” would be far less. The report says the number of dads living apart from their children has more than doubled in the last 50 years. The researchers offered this bit of incredibly obvious detail: “Our research shows that dads who live with their children are just far more involved.” Really? I think most could have offered that conclusion for half the price. But here’s the point: When dads are in the home they are providing that modeling that young men need so they can become dads themselves.
Just because a father shares a street address with his son does not mean he is a good father, a dad. But our goal as a society should be to have good dads in the home of every child. That’s a goal that cannot be met by some government program. Men must aspire to that role.
It is possible for a young man to observe the habits of a man not his father and learn how to be a dad. It happens all the time. But wouldn’t you agree that the best way for a boy to become a man and then a dad is to observe his own dad in action? Then the junior can aspire to be the kind of dad exemplified by the senior.
Dads, we must set the right example by cleaning up our own acts and making our lives worthy of aspiration. Of all the things we can do we should set sound priorities in our lives. Work is not the priority. Finances are not the priority. Only God deserves the top spot. There is no greater lesson you can teach your sons (and daughters) than a love and dedication for the Father of lights.
The second priority is family. Sons learn how to treat their wives and daughters learn what to expect from their husbands by watching you. That’s a critical lesson that comes from observing and aspiring to be what we are. How pleased would you be if your son turned out just like you? How happy would it make you to know your daughter married someone just like you?
Work, finances, hobbies and recreation all fall below these top priorities. Wealth has little to do with true happiness and our own desires ought take a backseat to the needs of others.
This Father’s Day is an excellent time to repair, improve or enhance the model we display. We all want to be great dad’s I’m sure. Now is the time to make it happen.