Dear Dads, We Need You
“Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.”–Charles Kettering
It’s not very popular or cool to be in your position these days. Society didn’t rally around you in support, or give parades in your honor, or march for your rights. Some like to think that you aren’t really necessary. But we need you.
You’re a vital part of family life, and by extension, society as a whole. By your example, you show us how to live. You teach us how to be in the world, how to handle problems, and you shape us in ways so profound that only God can truly understand the depth of your impact.
“A boy needs a father to show him how to be in the world. He needs to be given swagger, taught how to read a map so that he can recognize the roads that lead to life and the paths that lead to death, how to know what love requires, and where to find steel in the heart when life makes demands on us that are greater than we think we can endure.” -Ian Morgan Cron
When you choose to walk away, it leaves a hole that can’t ever really be filled by anyone else. It creates a wound that never completely stops bleeding.
You’re scared because you don’t know how to raise a kid? Neither has any other dad before you.
It isn’t what you know that makes you a good father, it’s what you do.
“The nature of impending fatherhood is that you are doing something that you’re unqualified to do, and then you become qualified while doing it.” –John Green
Your kids won’t care what you know, but they’ll follow the example of how you life your life.
How do I know? Because it’s what I did. And my dad before me, and his dad before him. Sure, there are some differences, but the foundation that is laid early in life is one that can never be fully washed away, and can only be built on.
So keep working on yourself, keep growing, and keep pursuing your dreams. Being a good example is far more powerful and effective than being perfect.
Maybe you didn’t expect-or even want-to be a dad. Maybe you’re thinking about disappearing. But that’s not what dads do. Dads take care of their family, whatever that looks like for you.
If you’re a dad, you find a way.
I know you’re scared, and that you don’t know what you’re doing. I know you didn’t have anyone to show you how it’s done. But your role is too important to walk away.
A generation without fathers is a lost generation.
“Mostly you just have to keep plugging and keep loving-and hoping that your child forgives you according to how you loved him, judged him, forgave him, and stood watching over him as he slept, year after year.” –Ben Stein
Dads, you are important.
Society may not show you a lot of love and support-but you are so vital to all of our lives.
Thank you for what you do. Thank you for having the will to do what needs to be done to provide food and a home for your family. Thank you for having the courage to stay, even when you don’t know what to do. And thank you for working hard to set a good example, especially if you weren’t fortunate enough to have one of your own.
You’ll only know your impact in the long run.
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Originally published at https://www.kylechastain.com on June 18, 2020.