For Fathers On the Fence
Every now and again, I feel compelled to talk to the Dads out there. The new Dads, the old Dads, the soon to be Dads, and even the ‘WhoooMyGoshHowDidThisHappenToMe’ Dad. And, since it’s Father’s Day, I’ve got an invitation to do that.
We sometimes, bless our little souls, feel inadequate to be a father. Kind of lost in the parental landscape dominated by Moms.
Yes sir, right from the 1st time we got pregnant, my wife had books like What to Expect When You Are Expecting… and it was a thick book! It talked about about the baby stages of development, the zygote stage, the embryonic stage, the platypus stage. It talked about changes in the mothers body, mood swings, things to look forward too, and stories of joy and happiness.
I got a similar book, except it was really just a handwritten note by a fellow father which simply read “Crazy. Expect Crazy.”
With adoption, all the books are about attachment and disorders and getting in touch with one’s feelings and emotional connections to your child and bonding…stuff. These types of things fall distinctly in the realm of the womanly way of dealing with things. If these books were written by men, for men, they would be the same as that handwritten note from my fellow father all those years ago…“Crazy. Expect Crazy.”
Then, when the kids get a little older, there are mom and tots play groups, coffee breaks for moms, moms group at church, and so on and so on. All these wonderful ways to build a healthy relationship between mom and child. A very woman dominated society in raising the children.
Men do have something similar…except that we leave the children at home with the moms, and we go play golf.
Yes, society has done a wonderful job of isolating us men AWAY from the process of “children.” There is little encouragement (except for our wives BEGGING us to actually be active participants in the process) for us to get involved with the pregnancy, early years or emotional side of adoption. And when we DO try to get engaged, we feel that we are invading the mother’s turf.
I remember one time that I went to the Neo-Nazi-BreastFeeding-Womans-Group… er, La Leche League, and I think EVERY woman there wanted to kill me for being a man (including my own wife). It’s a wonderful group though, seriously, which helps new moms learn how to breastfeed. Look ladies, if I could lactate, I would have! It’s not my fault I don’t have mammary glands! Us Dads are reduced to spectators in the childrearing process more than we would like!
Well enough of it! So I figured it was about time someone stood up for us DADs, and found us some good role models!!! So what better place to turn than the Bible… Lets look at some Dad role models in the Bible to encourage us DADs in our quest to be better Fathers and Husbands!
Key to Fame: 1st Dad in the Bible…well, except for God.
Outstanding Parental Achievement: … um, fathered most of mankind.
Results of Parenting: One of his children killed 25% of the worlds population (Cain + Able, Gen. 4)
Okay, maybe NOT the best example…let me find another one…
Abraham (Genesis 22)
Key to Fame: Considered the father of Israel. Still had game into his 90s!
Outstanding Parental Achievement: Had 2 sons. Many descendants, countless as the stars in the sky.
Results of Parenting: Almost sacrificed one of his sons on an alter. Kicked his other son (and his mother) out of the house at the tender age of 4(ish). The descendants of both sons are still at war to this day.
Ummmm… moving on!
Key to Fame: Built a big boat.
Outstanding Parental Achievement: With his sons and daughter in laws, they repopulated the earth.
Results of Parenting: After getting off the boat, and being stuck for 40 days and 40 nights with his kids, he immediately got drunk and passed out (Genesis 9:20~24).
David (Samuel, wrote many books in the bible as well)
Key to Fame: Killed the giant Goliath. King of Isreal. Was noted as having a “heart after God’s own heart” (bad husband and friend though… seriously, had one of his best friends hand deliver his death sentence to his commanding officer).
Outstanding Parental Achievement: Had some kids.
Results of Parenting: One of his kids tried to kill him. David wound up having his kid killed in a battle over the throne. There might have been something about some woman and adultery and such…
Okay, you know what. Forget it. I’m just gonna skip on over this all and wrap this up before I get into more trouble.
So, WHY point all this out?
Only to remind us DADs, that no matter HOW hard parenting looks…
No matter how SCARED we are about having kids…
… about adoption.
… about pregnancy.
… about making mistakes.
… about being a bad father.
… about feeling inadequate.
… about all those things and SO many more we are unable to articulate except though far off stares, the odd guttural grunting and cooking some meat on the bar-b-q as “protein based therapy”…
… is the simple truth that if THOSE guys up there, Adam, Abraham, Noah, David, YOUR Dad, MY DAD, or any other Man who has stood in the place of a father figure which may have been missing in your life…
IF they can do it. Then by the good graces of God, YOU and I can do it.
So lets stop being sidelined, stand up, and have the courage, strength and “lacking of common sense” that is required to thinking being a Dad is a good idea, and rush headlong into this fatherhood thing with all that is within us!
Even if all you can muster up today, is “You know, maybe we could consider adoption”, I’m sure it would mean the world to your wife… and you just never know where that fatherhood journey might lead you…
… hopefully not to an alter trying to sacrifice one of your children though. That would be bad. Although, when they hit about 2 years old… totally understandable.
Adrian and Roberta have been married for over 13 years. They were married for 1 year when they decided to “wait 3 to 5 years” before having children. They bought a 1-bedroom condo and a 2-door car and were pregnant 2 weeks later. Nine months later, Kole was born. Shortly thereafter, their second son Dawson was born. Gemma came 4 years later. They were pregnant with Ping for about 2 years, but she came to them in November 2009 from China and was followed by Little Bing (see adorable boy in the picture above). Adrian blogs about their family story and daily life here. Visit and be impacted…and amused by his wit.