The Value of the Father’s Impact
How does a boy learn what it is to be a man? Harvard psychologist Samuel Osherson writes: “What does it mean to be male? Suppose the father is not there to provide a confident, rich model of manhood. In that case, the boy is left in a vulnerable position…this solution places great pressure on the growing son…we often misidentify with our fathers, crippling our identities as men.”
We save our boys by providing them with a role model to look up to. When our boys have a clear role model, they instinctively know how to function when it comes to marriage and parenting. But there are far too many crippled boys in this generation who have no idea what it means to be a man. Our God-given responsibility as fathers is to prepare our sons to lead a family. We must arm them for this purpose. Little boys are the next generation’s hope, aren’t they? They are the fathers of the future. Shouldn’t they understand who they are and what they are supposed to do? They must observe their role model at work. That is how they will understand what it means to be a man.
The Significance of Being Present
Christian men must recognize the importance of being present in the home. When we subtract commute and work time from our waking hours, we only have two or three hours to be “with” one another. If we influence our children, we must use that time wisely. More than just our physical presence is required to save the boys. Even if the father is physically present in the home, there is a high risk that he will be emotionally distant. A father like this can emotionally cripple a son for life. According to James Carroll, the “curse of fatherhood is distance, and good fathers spend their lives trying to overcome it.” 179 Distance is not only physical but also emotional. We must be emotionally present to save our boys. We must be aware of what is going on with our children.
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