Throughout life we receive information and learn from many different areas, and some of the most influential areas are from our personal relationships. The most influential relationships we have initially as a child are with our parents and especially with our father. Normally in his role as the head of the home we look to him, as the leader and mentor more than anyone else. It is from our father that we as men learn many of the attitudes and values of life, and these greatly influence who and what we become in our own life as men. We often use our father's life example as our parenting guide and his parenting methods as our own blueprint for fatherhood.
Now it is important to realise that for several generations the skills required for successful fatherhood have been on the decline within our society. I have written about this previously in the teaching called Why Do We Need Dads' UNI?. We as fathers may need initially to decide whether we want to model our fathering role upon the example of our own father, or another male figure within our lives.
We as fathers may need initially to decide whether we want to model our fathering role upon the example of our own father, or another male figure within our lives.
If you have had a great father and dear friend or even a good father who tried hard you should be able to glean at least some positive points from their fathering example. However, there are many men in our society today who either had no father figure at all or one who lacked even the most basic skills, and in those cases, you may want to look for another male figure to model your fathering from.
What did your father teach you? If he was loving and kind, supportive and encouraging then I would dare to guess that you share many of those traits in your own character today. But if your father was emotionally cold toward you or violent you may unfortunately still carry those negative influences within your life and find it difficult to 'connect' emotionally with your own kids.
It is from our fathers that we as men learn many of the concepts that we use in daily life. Concepts such as a healthy work ethic, showing respect for authority, protecting and honouring females as the 'weaker sex', standing up for what is right, helping those in need, taking care of your mates, and 'a fair go for all'.
I see that the lack of good role models in our society as both a cause and affect of generations of decline in fathering skills.
I see that the lack of good role models in our society as both a cause and affect of generations of decline in fathering skills. But it is also true that even the best dad will still have faults and failures, and we as men will need to be very discerning as to what to glean and what to leave behind from their example.
There is however hope for us all as men and fathers, and an example available for us to model that is without fault or mistakes. Jesus came to show us that we all as men have access to 'our heavenly Father', and that it is from Him that we need to learn the most important lessons in life. I have found that the insights and understanding that I glean from my daily Bible reading are a light in a dark place and both inspire and comfort me in my fathering role.
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