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A Mother’s thoughts on Fatherhood

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This month’s radio interview centered around fatherhood. While I am absolutely not an expert on how to be a dad, I am blessed to have had a great dad in my own life and to be married to one of the world’s best. This interview is really more about how moms can facilitate dads being the best dads they can be. (Spoiler alert:  It involves a lot of letting them be the unique men God created them to be and getting out of the way.)  Here’s a link to the interview with a summary below:

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Dads are different are from moms. Each has strengths and gifts and balance each other out. Our kids benefit when each is expressing their unique gifts.

Know your dad. Especially as an adult, I think it’s important to see your father as a person with failings and strengths all his own. We can get hung up on what we feel like we needed that our dads weren’t able to give, but when we can come to understand them and their history, it can help us experience healing and truly love them for who they are.

Dads aren’t God. Who can live up to the idea that fathers should embody who God is? The example of our fathers AND the failures of our father should point us toward a perfect Father God.

Fathers need to express love to their daughters. There is no concrete one way to do this, but it needs to be done. Daughters need to feel confident that they are important to their dad and that they are worthy of respect.

There is no one right way to be a good dad (or a good man, for that matter). Men get conflicting messages about how they are supposed to be— either nurturing and tender or tough and masculine. Those would seem to be two very different kinds of dads. Fathers need to feel confident in how God created them and express fatherhood that way.

Words from a father matter. Mothers often see the aftermath of harsh words spoken to children. Choose your words wisely and be sure when you need to be tough with your kids that you also leave time for reconciliation.

Mothers sometimes need to get out of the way. Let dads be dads. Create opportunities for them to play and enjoy each other. (*This is also a really great justification for running to Target and spending some time alone. You’re welcome, Moms.)

Children without a dad in the home still need male involvement. Moms need to be looking for male role models for their children. Men— especially men in the church— need to be willing to be involved with those children in their community.

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