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Brotherhood of Fatherhood

Brotherhood of Fatherhood

Before I was a father, I still had opportunities to be a father figure. I often think of one instance in particular. It was a time when I was part of what I call the “Brotherhood of Fatherhood.”

For many years I directed a major Easter production in Louisiana. This was prior to God blessing me with children. One of the special effects we used was dry ice. You’ve likely seen the effect, as a low-lying layer of pure white smoke wafts across the stage.

Handling dry ice can be a bit tricky – and dangerous. The chemical reaction that makes the effect work is the rapid thaw of the substance in a pressurized container. This is what forces the fog across the stage. In addition to mandatory training, there is a high trust level placed on the individual who works with the dry ice. The assumed trust is that they won’t use the chemical as a toy.

One extremely foolish thing to do is place a small portion in a glass bottle, seal it, and wait for the expansion to build up pressure. Then, from a distance, throw a rock at it. The explosion is impressive and potentially deadly — glass flies everywhere. Many have been injured or blinded doing this stunt.

One year a teen at the church decided to try this.  He discovered the largest danger of the game.  The bottle exploded in his hand nearly taking his thumb off. Frank, his father, took him to the hospital for many, many stitches. Then he brought his boy back to my production partner and me. Frank did the right thing.  He made his son apologize to us for betraying the trust we had placed in him. That was only proper.

But there was more to it than that. You see, Frank knew that Wayne and I would back him up and restate what he would have told his boy—that he was a lucky fellow to even have a hand after his foolish stunt, and so on. With obvious love and concern we verbally disciplined Frank’s son.

Frank knew something basic about human nature. Most children will ignore their parents but are amazed when others agree with dad. We witnessed a major change in Frank Jr. that day. Not just because of the scary event that he endured, but due to the manner in which Christian men responded to it.

There is value in the brotherhood of fatherhood. Seek out men you know who walk with integrity and practice sound parenting. Talk to them about the challenges and joys of fatherhood. Be there for each other for mentoring, encouragement, and support. They will be there to share the journey with you and could be invaluable when you face a time of need. And you will be there to share the journey with them and you could be invaluable when they face a time of need. It’s the Brotherhood of Fatherhood!

By: Dave Trouten is the married father of two teenage boys and a Division Chair & Professor of Communication at Kingswood University.

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