“The most decisive actions of our lives – I mean those that are likely to decide the whole course of our future – are, more often than not, unconsidered.” – Andre Gide
No class, book, or amount of good-intentioned advice can truly prepare you for the ups and downs of fatherhood. When I jumped into parenting with both feet and adopted two children overnight, I dreamed of being “Super-Dad.” It only took a few weeks of enduring unbelievable tantrums, cleaning up crazy amounts of vomit in the middle of the night, and wracking my brain to dream up ways of getting kids to eat that I realized I had a lot to learn.
While books may not prepare us completely, they can inspire us to do better – and that is exactly what Steve Farrar’s King Me offers for modern-day dads. Using the kings from the Old Testament as examples, Farrar demonstrates that many influential men are astounding leaders – but terrible fathers. Men tend to focus so much on success – climbing the ladder at work, earning more money for the family, or expanding their own influence on society – that fatherhood is put on the back burner. According to this author, however, raising our sons to be strong, confident men of integrity is not just a side job that God allows us to fiddle with from time to time – it is the primary calling of each and every father.
It’s not always fun to set firm boundaries and discipline our children day after day, but it is one of the most important reasons God has put us here, as men, on this earth. In a volume that is both entertaining and easy to read, Farrar exhorts fathers to be incredible fathers first and foremost. Then, if there is time left, we can worry about becoming respected leaders outside the home.
As I read through this book, I marveled at what a true art being a great father truly is. It requires strength and courage, but this must be combined with patience, flexibility, and mercy. I truly appreciate the efforts of those men who have invested their lives in this great calling, and admire their commitment and tenacity. I still have a long way to go before earning that “Super-Dad” cape, but I’m learning and growing every day. Most importantly, I’m working at it – I’m in the game.
Today’s post is part of the A-to-Z Challenge, where participants commit to posting one article for each day during the month of April – one for every letter of the alphabet.
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