Archive for the ‘ daddyhood ’ Category

Who Needs a Daddy?

father_childMark Alexander has posted an interesting Essay over at The Patriot Post entitled “Who Needs a Father” that is right in line with the truth we have been espousing on this site and is also quite timely with Father’s Day coming up this weekend.

The essay pays “tribute to the irreplaceable and inseparable institutions of marriage and fatherhood — and the importance of a father’s love, discipline, provision and protection for his family.” It also says a few plain spoken truths about the damage that daddy-less homes have caused in this country.

Below you will find an excerpt from the essay. I encourage you to read the entire essay, however, as there’s plenty of good stuff packed in it.

In 295 B.C., Mencius wrote, “The root of the kingdom is in the state. The root of the state is in the family. The root of the family is in the person of its head.”

When fathers do not take on their parental responsibilities, broken marriages and families are the result. These, in turn, lead to broken societies.

Thus, the failure of fatherhood has much more than mere social or cultural consequences; it is a menacing national security threat. The collective social pathology of the fatherless presents a great obstacle to Liberty and the survival of our republican form of government as outlined by our Constitution.

Father’s Day should thus be a call to action. Indeed, the majority of social entropy afflicting our nation today originates in homes without fathers, which definition includes those without functioning or effective fathers.

Currently, almost 60 percent of black children, 32 percent of Hispanic children and 21 percent of white children live in single-parent homes. (See Bill Cosby’s “Truth about Black America.”) According to the CDC, DoJ, DHHS and the Bureau of the Census, children who live apart from their fathers account for 63 percent of teen suicides, 70 percent of juveniles in state-operated institutions, 71 percent of high-school dropouts, 75 percent of children in chemical-abuse centers, 80 percent of rapists, 85 percent of youths in prison, 85 percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders, and 90 percent of homeless and runaway children. (When these children become “adults,” the social consequences become even worse.)

Generationally, daughters who have been abandoned by their fathers are seven times more likely to have children as teenagers and 92 percent more likely to divorce.

A successful fatherhood begins with a healthy marriage. To be good fathers, we must first be good husbands.

I have been blessed with many mentors, including Dr. Jim Lee, director of Living Free ministries. Jim taught me that the Christian marriage paradigm is built on a foundation of five principles: “First, God is the creator of the marriage relationship; second, heterosexuality is God’s pattern for marriage; third, monogamy is God’s design for marriage; fourth, God’s plan for marriage is for physical and spiritual unity; and fifth, marriage was designed to be permanent.”

Concern about marital infidelity and the consequences for children are timeless. John Adams wrote in his diary on 2 June 1778, “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. … How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”

I note here that while most fatherless homes are the result of neglect on the part of fathers, an increasing number of fatherless homes result from mothers who separate without reasonable grounds from the fathers of their children.

Fortunately, some young people reared by a single parent, or in critically dysfunctional or impoverished homes, overcame that impediment. Either they were blessed with a parent who, against all but insurmountable odds, instilled them with the values and virtues of good citizenship or, somewhere along the way, those children were lifted out of their misery by some other grace of God — often in the form of a significant mentor who modeled individual responsibility and good character.

However, the vast majority of children from homes without fathers are not so fortunate, as statistically confirmed above.

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Fatherhood vs. Daddyhood

We are unequivocally aware that in actuality the terms ‘fatherhood’ and ‘daddyhood’ are interchangeable. In fact, we are even further aware that ‘fatherhood’ is used at an extremely higher rate than ‘daddyhood’. Nonetheless, we prefer the term ‘daddy’ over ‘father’.

The main reason is connotation. We believe the term ‘daddy’ to be one of endearment and intimacy. It alludes to a closeness, a tighter bond if you will. The term you hear from excited kids as they run to greet you from merely surviving the trip home from work. The sound you hear when your children need a hug, a kiss goodnight, or money for a gift or toy. (Thank the Lord I was blessed with two boys and not girls.)

The term ‘father’ on the other hand, seems to be more proper and distant. It commands respect almost, and while there is nothing wrong with that, it seems to convey that of a drill sergeant more than a life coach. Maybe it’s just a term of a different time period. I’m not sure exactly, but it would be extremely awkward for me to call my dad ‘Father’.

On a side note, which phrase sounds better anyway? “Who’s your father?” Or, “who’s yo daddy?”

“Oh no he didn’t! He did not just go there.”

“Uuhhh hmmmmm! He sure did girlfriend!”

But I digress.

Therefore, this somewhat explains our tagline, “Any guy can father a child, it takes a man to be a daddy.” There are too many instances where some male members of society either take a spectator’s role in their fathering responsibilities or forsake them altogether. These are essentially the sperm donors or seed spreaders. These are the ones that would prefer to hear Maury Povich say those famous lines, “You are NOT the father.” These are the ones that aren’t able to see past their own nose. They fail to realize the true implications of an innocent child that grows up without a strong male influence.

A daddy knows his role. He is love-stricken at first sight. He takes on his responsibility as life coach and doubts the possibility that he is capable. He learns as the child learns. He makes mistakes and messes up but fixes it and tries again, and again, and again. He cries out to God for help and guidance and seeks counsel from those around him. He’s unsure if he handled that situation correctly but he tries to do the right thing. He hopes he can teach his children how not to make the same mistakes he seems to keep making. Daddies don’t give up and they don’t give in. They love unconditionally until they find out even more love existed than they ever dreamed possible.

Father’s Day is coming up and we are not in the business of trying to change that label to Daddy’s Day or correct anyone’s use of the term ‘father’. This is simply our explanation for how we view our roles and what we are doing. Being a good father and being a good daddy are the exact same thing. However, ultimately, when push comes to shove it is our desire that when our children see us coming that they tell their friends, “that’s MY Dad” or in the case of the picture above, “bab”.

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I Need Socks

“I need socks, too.”

A few months ago, my son uttered the sentence above. The story is quite a common one especially in this household (much to the chagrin of mommajulie). Of course, it’s been said that imitation is the best form of flattery. Let me explain.

My son and I were getting ourselves ready to play the Wii. The game of choice was either going to be Star Wars Legos or Mario Kart Wii; I don’t remember, and frankly it’s not that vital a piece of information anyway. Well, a cold front had blown through and dropped the temperature quite a bit. Point is, my feet were cold. So I said, “I need socks first.”

Of course, my son followed suit with the above quote, “I needs socks, too.” My wife also responded with semi-jealousy and semi-adoration, “Did you hear that?” With a smile on my face, I simply affirmed hearing my son’s reply.

This is not a rare occurrence. Also, there are times when mommajulie has to try to talk my son into doing something that is to his betterment while I can simply swoop in and just say the words, and well, it is done. She doesn’t think it’s fair but her jealousy is something that she will need to work out with much prayer and meditation. ‘Life isn’t fair’ or ‘It is what it is’ would be common replies to her plight.

At five years old, he still wants to be just like me but he’s also starting to realize some value in individualism. Superman is not his favorite super-hero like he is mine. He’s on a Batman kick right now without even seeing “Dark Knight” yet. He’s gone through the Spider-man phase and the Iron Man phase and who knows who will remain king of the hill when all is said and done. Maybe it’ll turn out to be Superman like me and maybe it won’t. Regardless of who it is, I have to make sure that I remain his hero.

In a time where it appears there is a growing decline in daddyhood, I need to make sure my sons see a proper example on how to live and on how to be a man. When things are left alone, they tend towards chaos rather than order. In order to give my sons their best chance in life, I have to show them how to live.

It’s often said of children that they have their ‘Daddy’s eyes’ or nose, smile, laugh, or in my case, yawn. Good Daddies give far more traits than just physical ones. Children learn how to succeed from their fathers. Involved fathers can give their children stronger work ethics. An involved father can increase integrity and self-responsibility. Children can learn to study from their fathers. Fathers can teach children how to try and fail so that one day they can try and succeed. More importantly, children learn how to pray and work on their spiritual life by watching their fathers. They learn how important you really think prayer is and where God really falls on life’s priority list.

We must be the example even in times of solitude when we think no body is watching because our children will imitate that as well. I’m reminded of lyrics by a father-son duo Aaron Jeoffrey that included the following message to Jesus, “I want to be just like You, because he wants to be like me.”

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What a Daddy Can Learn from the Bible: Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Jesus feeds the five thousand

It would be a huge mistake on our part if we failed to draw lessons and inspiration from the greatest collection of books ever written. The Bible no doubt offers timeless lessons about parenting and basic manhood that we will definitely explore and take advantage of. Some lessons are directly about being a parent or a father, while others you’ll find take an indirect path but both have real world application such as this one that I’ve chosen today.

It’s a well known story about Jesus performing a miracle in order to simply feed dinner to thousands of people. We never really find out how He did it, just why. He saw a need and had compassion and went above and beyond what anyone would have ever expected of Him. The following is copied and pasted from Bible.com – Matthew 14:13-21:

Five Thousand Fed

13Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
14When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
15When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!”
17They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
18And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”
19Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds,
20and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.
21There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

Now I know you’re probably asking what in the world does this story have to do with being a Daddy. Well, you’re in luck because I’m going to tell you. See how well this works out. (Of course, it’s always easy to write when I give you the question you should ask and then answer it.) Nonetheless, my focus is really on 4, maybe 3, words from verse 17.

“We have here only…”

Daddyjason wrote a pretty good article similar to this thought not too long ago titled – What Makes a Daddy Fun? “We have here only” or in other words, “We only have…” Being a good Daddy can be overwhelming and we can feel that we don’t have all the right tools. “But God, I only have… (fill in the blank).” But isn’t that all that God asks? To give simply what we have? He’s not going to ask us to give what we do not have and even if one day He does decide to do just that, He’s going to make sure there is a way we can obtain it.

Our children are no different. Well, maybe a little different. They are not divine by any means and they have no way to obtain things without our help but ultimately they need only what we have. For most of us who have little buying power, what we have is without matter but matters a ton. What I mean by this is that the gifts that we can give our children that will matter the most as they grow into adults is going to be the intangibles such as: our love, our time, security and protection, purpose, and self-esteem. While they will want everything in a well designed commercial or well-placed ad, those things will eventually break down and be thrown away; on the other hand, the intangible gifts will not perish.

I’m reminded of a powerful story from an unknown author. One day a father was locking up the doors for the night and went to check on his children to make sure they were ready for bed. His son’s door was slightly cracked and he saw him knelt beside his bed with his head down. He overheard his son praying, “Dear God, please help me to grow up to be just like my Daddy.” The father immediately went to his own bedside fighting the tears in his eyes and prayed his own prayer, “Oh dear God, please help me to be the man my son thinks I am.”

You don’t have to do great things to be a great man or a great daddy. You just need to be grateful that God chose you to be their daddy. And be grateful to give God and your children only what you have to give.

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Music Video: Til I Was a Daddy Too – Tracy Lawrence

This video is courtesy of my Mother-in-Law.  She felt compelled in her heart to share this song with me and her other son-in-law some time ago. I’m not a huge fan of country music but the lyrics are solid and powerful.

Just when you think you have everything about figured out, you find out that you are about to be a Daddy.  Your ability to love gets raised to the “nth” degree.  It feels exponential and it’s a strength of love that you didn’t realize existed until then.  No words can describe it but all of a sudden you begin to realize the sacrifices your parents made for you and it’s humbling and awesome at the same time.

I feel blessed to have been given two boys.  There are so many things that I’m going to share with them as they grow.  Some awesome things… and some bad things.  I’ll have the desire many times to take their hurts away from sickness, bruises, broken bones, and knee scrapes.  I’ll want to take away their sadness from feeling alone in a new school, not being the popular kid, or a broken heart from a girlfriend.  In order to give them wings to fly, I’ll have to let them go through it just as I did.  I just have to make sure they know they’re not doing it alone.  Daddy is here always.

Artist: Tracy Lawrence
CD: For the Love
Genre: Country
Label: Rocky Comfort

Til I Was A Daddy Too by Tracy Lawrence

Do you recall when I was six
I got lost out in the woods and you worried yourself sick
What about the day I got in my first fight
Mama she got mad but you swelled up with pride
I never knew how deep a fathers love could run
Until I had a son

{Chorus}
From watching him learn how to crawl
To skinned up knees from skateboard falls
To praying he’d get through football alive
From hearing his first words spoken
The first time his heart got broken
And knowing soon he’ll spread his wings and fly
I guess I didn’t know what a Daddy goes thru
Til I was a Daddy too

Real love the kind that you can’t understand
Until you hold it in your arms and touch it with your hands
Pure joy the kind that you can only find
When you live your life for them
And leave yourself behind
More and more I’m seeing life go by
Thru my Daddy’s eyes

{Chorus}

The fast pace of time goes racing
From first grade to graduation
And knowing soon he’ll spread his wings and fly
I guess I didn’t know what a Daddy goes through
Til I was a Daddy too

I guess I didn’t know what a Daddy goes through
Til I was a Daddy too

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The Corn on the Cob Story

A little story about a father’s sacrifice, a son’s love, and a corn on the cob.

One Sunday afternoon a few years ago, my wife began to cook dinner while my firstborn son was watching tv and I was working on the computer.  It’s a well-known fact (at least in my household) that I love me some corn on the cob.  It’s what I call a fun food even though it takes like 20 minutes to pick all the corn skins from your teeth afterward.  Corn on the cob, it’s what’s for dinner!

But, I digress.

So my wife asked me how many I wanted because the ones she had to cook were half the size of normal cobs. So I’m thinking that since I’ll be eating a full chicken breast topped with BBQ sauce, cheese, and bacon, a salad and some bread along with my corn that I should go light (I was still trying to watch my figure).  So I answered something along the lines of “One is fine.” Plus, I felt like I was making it easier on my hard-working wife by asking her to cook less; although, it would have only taken about 2 seconds to put another cob in the steamer, that’s really beside the point.

So it became dinner time. We gathered around the table and got our plates prepared and our palettes ready for food consumption. Matthew sung the prayer that he learned from daycare in a voice that my wife thinks is the sweetest in the history of the entire known universe. I looked at my plate and noticed the smallest corn on the cob that I had ever seen in the history of the entire known universe.  Inside my head I was thinking “No, no girlfriend. This ain’t right.  I’m Daddy!”  What I opted to say was, “This is great honey.”

I buttered my corn and added a few shakes of salt and pepper as my mouth began to water with anticipation. But alas, my corn on the cob would have to wait because I wanted to save it for last. My son went the opposite route and ate all his corn on the cob first.  At 3 and a half years old, it seemed quite a good feat for him to eat the whole thing, but then there was a problem. Like me, he wanted more corn on the cob than what was served.

“Can I have some more corn?”

Those words may forever haunt me. How could I deny my son his love of corn on the cob when I had one to give? Then again, I helped pay for the corn and I’m bigger and stronger, and no one can fault me for eating what was on my plate, I mean, that’s what I was taught growing up. But, without further debate, I picked up my perfectly buttered and seasoned corn on the cob and placed it on my son’s plate. It was time for my son to live my legacy and I was willing to do whatever it took to help him in that endeavor; yes, even sacrifice my lone corn on the cob. Without even realizing the great sacrifice that was made for him, my son smiled, pointed to his newly found corn on the cob and said to his mother, “I got corn.” He was just about to take a bite, but then he placed the very corn on the cob that I had given him back on my plate.  My heart was filled with glee and my fatherly pride swelled up inside me as he uttered the greatest sentence on the face of the earth (at least on that day).

“You can have it.”

Victory! Victory! I truly believe that my son noticed that momma had corn and he had corn, but daddy had no corn at all anymore. That, my friends, is how one father sacrificed for his son because he loved him and a son’s love for his father helped him return the favor. Yes, the Force is strong in that one. Job well done, daddyjeff, job well done.

This is one of my favorite stories of my oldest and there are many more that I will probably get to share with you.  However, with this in mind I wanted to offer you this option.  Send us your favorite story of your children as a father or your favorite story of your daddy and we’ll share it for you on this site.  Just answer any of the following questions:

My favorite memory of (child/ daddy) is…

It was really funny when (child/ daddy)…

(Child/ Daddy) showed me he/ she loved me when…

My favorite story of (child/ daddy) is…

As with any family friendly site, keep the stories clean.  We will correct any obvious typos for you but other than that, approved stories will be selected and posted for you as is.  We appreciate your support and hope that the upcoming Father’s Day offers encouragement for your continued commitment to your children.

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Music Video: Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman

I have a daughter who just turned two years old. She’s my only child. I would have never thought a song like Cinderella would have as much meaning for me as it does.

I guess there’s just something having a child that changes the way you think – and maybe it’s even different for father/daughters – I don’t know. It’s easy to look at her right now and think about all the time we’ll have together over the coming years, but then when you hear a song like this it makes you think about how the time with her will be over all too soon. It’s true what they say – they grow up so fast.

This is one of the few songs that actually makes me feel emotional when I stop and think about it. It’s a great song and the interview with Steven Curtis Chapman after the video is a great insight into how he came to write the song – and a good look into someone who sounds like a great daddy.
 


Artist:
Steven Curtis Chapman
CD: This Moment (Cinderella Edition)
Genre: Contemporary Christian
Label: Sparrow Records

Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays,
Without a care in the world.
And I’m sittin’ here wearin’ the weight of the world on my shoulders.
It’s been a long day and there’s still work to do,
She’s pulling at me saying “Dad I need you!
There’s a ball at the castle and I’ve been invited and I need to practice my dancin’”
“Oh please, daddy, please!”
 
So I’ll dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I’ll dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

 
She says he’s a nice guy and I’d be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says “Dad, the prom is just one week away,
And I need to practice my dancin’”
“Oh please, daddy, please!”
 
So I’ll dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I’ll dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone
She will be gone.

 
Well, she came home today
With a ring on her hand
Just glowin’ and tellin’ us all they had planned
She says “Dad, the wedding’s still six months away
but I need to practice my dancin’”
“Oh please, daddy please!”
 
So I’ll dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Ohh-oh ohh-oh, I’ll dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song,
(even one song)
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone

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