A few weeks ago a friend recommended the film, Courageous. This movie explores a father’s role in the life of his children.
Modern fatherhood–along with everything else–has become more complicated and less clear in its definition than ever before. Single motherhood seems to be the new norm, with marriage considered unnecessary. In this process men are disenfranchised from their traditional roles of protecting children and their children’s mothers.
Courageous tell the story of four police officers from Albany, Georgia, and how after a tragedy befalls one of them, they decide to define their roles as fathers for the good of their children and their children’s mothers.
What our fathers find is that it requires all their courage to be the fathers they want to be, the fathers they pledge to each other to be. On the good days they get being a daddy right. On the bad days, their despair can be suffocating.
For the success of our children and our world, caring and involved fathers are critical. Research statistics show the positive difference of what an engaged father or father figure means in terms of how a child does in school, future earnings, chances of not being involved in criminal behavior and more.
Our times have confused the issues of rearing children to become independent adults and contributing community members.
It takes all of us working together to provide places-in our homes, in our schools, in our churches, in our neighborhoods, and in our towns-for our children to reach their full potential.
Children need as many people as possible to support their growth physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
A mother will always be a child’s first support system.
A father’s job is to offer his strength and support to his children, not just financially, but with body, mind, heart and spirit.
Fathers are the spiritual leaders of their families. By their courageous example of fully engaging in their children’s lives, fathers show us the way we should go.
My father’s day wish would be that all men would watch Courageous. This story might make you squirm with its biblical references, or it might inspire you with the wisdom of fathers past. Perhaps some of the scenes might be too emotional or schmaltzy for your tastes, but those scenes dramatize the difference a courageous father can make. That difference is huge and life altering.
I have been blessed with a lifetime of courageous men.
My father. My husband. My grandfathers. My uncles. My brothers. My brothers-in-law. My father-in-law. My family friends. My teachers. And so many more.
To these men, even though some of them have never been biological fathers but are fathers nonetheless, I say, “Thank you for having the courage, the patience, and the follow through to be a father. The world is better because of you.”