I grew up during the era of dumb-father shows: Step by Step, Home Improvement, and later, Everybody Loves Raymond. Although other shows like Full House featured a motherless home, it took three quirky men to take the place of raising the daughters. Most of the time, the dads were seen as ignorant and lost–hopeless cavemen. These depictions drive me crazy.
First off, not all men are like those shown above: in fact, very few men I know mirror the “common man” picture. My dad was one of the most competent, hard-working, diligent, and kind person I knew (male and female combined). And my husband carries the weight of financial, emotional, physical, and spiritual protection and provision over our family. He has saved us countless sums of money fixing our vehicles, repairing our home, and fixing our appliances. He isn’t intimidated by the rugged outdoors nor taking his daughter out on dates. He snuggles on the couch with our son and plays games with our youngest. He reads Scripture to our kids and prays over them with fervor. We are blessed by God to have him as head of our home. And their is nothing stupid or barbaric about his life. Furthermore, he doesn’t need me to direct his steps; he is taking his lead from our Heavenly Father and a strong heritage of Hanley men.
When a culture demeans and devalues the importance of fathers, our kids miss a vital component to their core identity.
In a recent PragerU video, Dennis Prager explains why fathers DO matter. He states: “A boy has no built-in understanding about how to be a man — meaning a good and responsible man. Male nature is wild — most obviously regarding sex and violence. If a boy does not have a father who models how a man controls himself, he will most likely not know how to control himself — let alone want to. That’s why most males in prison for violent crimes grew up without a father.”
“There is no question that many mothers have done an excellent job raising a boy without their son’s father,” he adds. “But common sense alone suggests that a mother simply cannot model what a boy should be any more than a man can model to a girl what a woman should be.” (Daily Wire)
For different reasons, daughters need fathers as well. She first gleans her understanding of men, and how to be treated by them, from her dad. All daughters want to be cherished and admired. If they don’t initially get it from their dads, they will seek it elsewhere. Dads show daughters how to be loved.
A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”— Billy Graham
Kids with intentional dads are much less likely to end up in prison, become addicted to drugs, struggle with mental illness, or falter vocationally or relationally. Dads are also the primary ones to help mold a child’s perspective of authority and discipline, even if dads are usually the “yes” person in the family. In fact, the “permissiveness” of a dad to say “yes” helps kids understand more give and take in relationships.
All those treasures aside, dads are just fun. “Dads play differently with children, using more physical and vigorous play. They have more physical contact and spend a larger proportion of their time playing. The way dads play with their children enhances their coordination and ability to regulate their own strength.”