Fatherhood – The Role of a Spiritual Leader
Fatherhood is a term used to describe the role of a father. It is a broad and varied role that can differ from one dad to the next.
Children look for stability and trust in their parents. The way a father relates to his kids can shape their identity.
Responsible fathers give their kids undivided attention. They listen to them and try to understand their perspectives.
As a part of his leadership, the spiritual leader teaches his family God’s word. He diligently studies it, reflects on it and speaks of it with his children. He teaches it wherever he is, sitting at home or walking the street. He teaches it from the time he wakes until his head hits the pillow at night.
He does not shy away from the hard and sometimes painful truths that it teaches his family. He knows that these teachings are for the good of his family and ultimately his nation.
Spiritual leaders are respected and trusted. When they pray, they are heard and answered. Their families depend on them. Their lives are guided by the power of the Spirit, not the flesh. They long to be free from everything that hinders their fullest delight in the Lord and service of others. (Romans 8:13). They love both friend and foe as Christ has taught them to do.
Fatherhood has become a topic of increased attention in academic, practice, and policy discussions. This new focus on fathers is not surprising, as research has shown that children whose fathers are present and involved in their lives do better in school and are less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors.
A growing number of programs across the country are designed to increase father involvement in families and communities. Increasingly, these programs are also designed to help men learn the skills that will allow them to connect with their children and to create healthy family relationships.
While many men embrace this new paradigm of family life, others struggle with the role of a father. Often, men are concerned about their ability to be successful in the workplace and at home. They may also have concerns about their relationship with their daughters and the impact of divorce on their child-rearing responsibilities.
Traditionally, fathers have been entrusted with the task of disciplining their children. It is often thought that discipline teaches a child to be self-controlled and respect authority. Discipline is more than a punishment, however, and can also involve training and teaching.
It is important for fathers to remain calm and even keeled during times of discipline, as children are known to get emotional quickly. It is also essential that a father show his teen that he loves them, regardless of their actions.
A good example of a father using discipline is a friend of ours who yelled at his five-year-old son to stop running into the street because cars were coming up behind them. The son immediately stopped, and the father may have saved his life. Research on fatherhood has, more recently, started to focus on the downstream effects of paternal discipline, but more work needs to be done to explore this topic. Efforts in Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean are helping to address this need.
A father’s love is a foundation of family life and a source of his emotional strength. He is the protector, teacher and encourager of his children; he picks them up when they fall, brushes them off and helps them try again. He is often a son’s first hero and daughter’s first love.
Today, men are increasingly involved in the caretaking of their children. This has challenged many of the assumptions and stereotypes that have framed research on fatherhood, and it suggests that clinical approaches must be attentive to this variation.
The 2021 film Fatherhood is a comedy-drama directed by Paul Weitz from a screenplay by Weitz and Dana Stevens, based on Two Kisses for Maddy, a memoir of loss and love by Matt Logelin. The film stars Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Frankie R. Faison, DeWanda Wise, Lil Rel Howery and others. Its premise is that when a child is born outside of marriage, it is a defining moment in the life of the father.