Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dads' Advice on Fatherhood: Part 7 - Authenticity

The many different fathers I spoke to about fatherhood shared so many different  pieces of advice with me but some also made it clear that they themselves have often failed to live up to their own advice.

"I realise the importance of prayer but to be honest, I've sometimes been too lazy or not been organised with my time." 

"It's so important to set a good example but my sons have seen me miserable, short tempered, use foul language and speak disrespectfully to their mother."

Authenticity doesn't mean that we make mistakes and think that this is acceptable but it does mean recognising these and of course asking forgiveness.  Catholics and Orthodox Christians have the Sacrament of Reconciliation but in addition to seeking God's forgiveness and that of our wives, a number of fathers said that there may be times when we need to apologise to our children.

"I mentioned example to you earlier but sometimes you will fail - when you do, do not hesitate to admit this and apologise.  They will learn to be authentic when you are."

"Try your best, with God's grace ... It is much easier than done, and I fail many times as well.  But the rewards I get from loving my wife and kids without condition is what drives everything in me."

I have mentioned Father Larry Richards before and do so again as his encouragement to men is so powerful - he states that we should recognise that we will never be the fathers our children need but only God is their true Father - we should recognise our shortcomings, strive to the best men we can be and apologise every time we fall.

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