On Fathers: "He took the time to create me"
I work with middle- and high-school students every Friday on a neighborhood newspaper initiative. We interview senior citizens, explore local treasures, and discuss subjects of importance to the kids and our community. When a kid attends a meeting for the first time, I always start by interviewing him or her for our "Wall of Fame," a spot in my home where I post profiles of the kids as a way of our getting to know each other. One thing I ask of them is to complete these sentences: "The thing I like best about my mom is…" and "The thing I like best about my dad is…"
One of the kids I interviewed this year answered, "The thing I like best about my dad is that he took the time to create me and didn't want to have an abortion." He told me that his dad is in and out of prison, and that he hasn't seen him for four years. "I'll be honest with you," continued the 13-year-old boy with disarming frankness. "I'm not proud that he's in prison so much, but he's my dad, and I love him, and I know he loves me."
Everyone agrees that there is a fatherhood crisis today, and it appears to be an international phenomenon. The existence of groups such as the National Fatherhood Initiative, (http://www.fatherhood.org) the National Center for Fathering, (http://www.fathers.com/) and Fathers for Good (http://www.fathersforgood.org) are evidence that the crisis is real but also that resources are available.
To prepare you for Father's Day this Sunday, here are two wonderful articles that show the importance of fathers. Please share them with your friends and family. Let's celebrate the many great fathers among us. Let's stand alongside and mentor the fathers who struggle. Let's equip our churches and neighborhoods to be places where good fathering is supported, encouraged, and nurtured.
Changing the Hearts of Fathers (http://esa-online.org/images/mmDocument/PRISM%20Archive/Features%202010/MarApr10ChangingHearts.pdf) by Heather Loring for PRISM Magazine (March/April 2010) looks at an effort in India and beyond to improve female literacy by strengthening the bonds between dads and their daughters.
Fatherhood, The Core of the Universe (http://www.moodyradio.org/uploadedFiles/Broadcasting/Programs/Library/PDF/Chris_Fabry_Live!/091124%20Jim%20Daly%20Fatherhood.pdf) by Jim Daly for Focus on the Family/Moody Radio looks at fatherlessness as "our most urgent social problem."