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What does it take to be a dad?

What does it take to be a Dad? 

What does it take to be a good father? Some say fatherhood is about providing for the family financially. When the roof is leaking and when the utility bills pile up, a good dad will be able to write the checks. Some also say that being a father is about being present. When the kids have soccer games, visits from the tooth fairy, or homework piling up, dad should be there, encouraging and comforting and, at times, challenging. Still others say being a good dad is about being a strong leader. A father should protect and provide, defend and stand guard. A good dad is a strong, servant-hearted dad.

So, what does it take to be a good father? The answer: all of the above, and then some. To put it another way, it’s pretty easy to mess up being a dad. Dad’s are pillows, punching bags, leaders, servants, friends, providers, encouragers, guard dogs, counselors, husbands…in short, when you become a dad, your identity changes. You have a new purpose. You can no longer live for yourself. You now live for others. Your world is broadened, enriched, challenged. Even if the couple is divorced, good dads get down with their kids. They are committed. 

Good dads can’t make one-night stands and martini bars their priority any more. They live for their family. It is a high call, and it’s no surprise that it’s so easy to mess it up. We expect a lot from our fathers. And our fathers can so easily let us down. Most of us can quickly recall our memories with our dads, and they can be either painful or joyful, but rarely are they neutral.

Becoming a good dad is like making fine wine: it takes trial and error, a lot of hard work, and most of all time. Lots of time. It takes a lot of time to love someone their whole life. It takes a lifetime. Dads are in it for the long haul.

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 15th, 2012 at 12:31 pm and is filed under Friends and Colleagues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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