Fatherhood is a privelege, one that I am proud to be given the honor of undertaking. However, fatherhood is hard; it takes a real man with real courage and a great sense of the Larger Story to both father, and father well. One great reason why is that our sons can be as different from us as night is from day…and we have to be so present, so intentional, that we are able to see the markers of their uniqueness, understand those markers for what they are, and help shape, refine, and call forth that uniqueness, even when it is beyond our own understanding.
But, it is entirely possible. No, not possible-necessary. Necessary, because our sons have been lost to a sea of competing and confusing tides for too long. Our sons need fathers who are laser-focused on apprenticing them, teaching them the value and true Godliness of true manhood, while at the same time “training him up in the Way God made him”, so that when he is older, he will embrace his identity, and walk in it fully.
Did I mention that this is hard??
Why is it so hard? Well, one large reason is that we weren’t likely fathered in this manner. Generations, stemming from the pre-Industrialization era, have been left essentially fatherless, as dads were increasingly taken from their roles and homes, hooked to the industrial plows, and told to produce. We are products of that continued shift even today. Yet we have an opportunity to stop that black train right here; some of us will find healing and our True North, able to lead from a strong and fully restored heart, given to us by our Father.
Most of us, however, will have to learn to lead with a limp.
But that’s okay. The Wounded Warrior is still a warrior, and can still lead his subordinates into battle. That is our charge, and if we don’t want our sons fumbling around in the dark about their manhood the way many of us have, we must “take up our cross” and lead on, limping or not. Our sons need it. We need it. The world needs it. The Kingdom needs it.
Yes, it is hard. But it is worth it. Every bit.