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Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I don’t focus much on children in my blog, but truthfully, for couples with children, it’s impossible to ignore the significant impact that your children have on your marriage (and vice-versa). Last week I posted about the importance of getting away from your kids for some serious alone time. This week, as part of my Man Up Monday series, I want to talk specifically about the critical role of fathers.

From my observations I would say there are two primary areas where men tend to disengage and turn the reigns of leadership and responsibility over to their wives. One is in spiritual matters (I did a Man-up Monday post on that back here). The other is in child rearing, my subject for today.

Shifting Societal Attitudes

Though I think the attitude that “child-rearing is women’s work” is less prevalent today than it has been in the past, men who refuse to take a significant and appropriate role in their children’s lives do so to the peril of their family. I believe that fatherlessness is epidemic in our society and contributes significantly to many of the social and economic ills we face today. I quoted a while back that research indicates that 40%of children born in the US in 2008 were born out of wedlock. That number is stunning, and it is creating an entire generation with an orphan spirit.

There are many fatherhood issues I could choose to focus on, but I’ll narrow it to three for today.

The Father Heart of God

I focus rather heavily here on the bridegroom aspect of God’s nature found in Jesus as it relates to marriage. But the father-heart of God is an equally important dimension of God’s nature. I believe that when we begin to get a personal revelation of this fabulous dimension of God it can really propel our earthly fatherhood role to new heights. It is also true that relating rightly to your children, as a reflection of our heavenly father, can greatly increase their understanding of who God is and how he feels about them. (That is not to say that kids cannot overcome negative father images by divine revelation.)

A Different Perspective

I believe fathers and mothers bring something different to the parenting partnership and that it is important to have both. Jennifer Anniston’s recent pronouncement that “women don’t need a man to have children” notwithstanding, the truth is that fathers play a critical role in the healthy development of children, a fact which I believe is born out by much research. The difference in contributions to parenting became evident this past weekend when my wife and I flew together across the country to drop our middle daughter off at school. Jenni (my wife) was focused on nurturing my daughter, her safety, and her emotional well-being, while I was focused more on practical and logistical matters. My daughter needed both.

Your Involvement Speaks Volumes

Lastly, your involvement in your children’s lives speaks volumes to your wife about your love for her. It tells your wife that you place a priority on this critically important aspect of her life. Your gift of time with your kids not only gives your wife a much-needed break from the stress of child-rearing, but tells her that you share in her burden to see that your children are well cared for.

So let me encourage you to go a step further than you‘ve gone before in fathering your kids. Love them, discipline them, spend time with them, instruct them, and encourage them. Father them.

Be an active partner with your wife in the raising of your children and help her launch them into their destiny.


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