Don’t Read This
Don’t read this because I have no clue what I’m doing!
There are some who look surprised when they hear I write a monthly article on fathering. I am honored and humbled to write for Just 18 Summers. However, I easily confess, there are times when I think I am an utter failure at fathering.
When my bride and I knew parenting was approaching, I read parenting books and my wife and I attended seminars. Upon reflection some of them were helpful, others were foolish and destructive.
Now, after eighteen years of fatherhood, I often receive compliments about my sons. “Well done,” folks say, “They are fine young men.” Although I freely give most of the credit to their mother, I am asked by younger fathers, “What is/was the secret of your success?”
Allow me to assume I have wisdom to share as I dole out the following:
I take my role seriously:
Our culture keeps trying to convince us otherwise, but children need a father. My children know I am dedicated to doing the best I can with the responsibility God has given to me; to raise them. My boys could likely quote these words by now they have heard them enough, “God gave you to me to raise. I am the only dad you have. I don’t want to let God down. I don’t want to let you down. You are the son God entrusted me with. I am taking that responsibility seriously.“
I don’t take myself seriously:
I’ve never had a problem being imperfect. Even though I decided early it was okay, sometimes it is tough to show my children that I am not faultless. But I would rather admit the obvious before they quickly figure it out themselves. I strive to be quick to apologize when I am in error. I try to enjoy laughing at myself. I believe my attitude in this regard has encouraged my children to feel empowered to talk freely.
The number one secret is a no-brainer:
If I believe God has entrusted me with the responsibility, it seems logical that I would frequently turn to Him for guidance. Prayer is important. I frequently have voiced prayers of thanksgiving and prayers for guidance (and sometimes prayers for endurance). The Bible is a great resource for parenting as well. God has also placed examples of godly parenting around me to mentor me through my own journey.
I guess if you have arrived at this point, you ignored my opening advice telling you not to read this. I hope you don’t regret your decision.
By: Dave Trouten is the married father of two teenage boys and a Division Chair & Professor of Communication at Kingswood University.
Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.