The greatest joys of fatherhood (Part 1)

June 9, 2022

Enjoy the reflections that were printed several years ago and the men who still enjoy them.

What is the meaning of fatherhood? At a workshop at the Urban Institute, this definition of fatherhood was given:

“A man becomes a father when he has his first child; this status is fixed, such that, once a man becomes a father, he is always a father. He may subsequently have more children, or his responsibilities and activities may change due to divorce, or children leaving home, or for other reasons, but he is always a father. Fatherhood, then, is a status attained by having a child and is irrevocable. In the contemporary research literature, the term fatherhood is used interchangeably with the term fathering which includes, beyond the procreative act itself, all the child rearing roles, activities, duties, and responsibilities that fathers are expected to perform and fulfill. Furthermore, while these definitions once implied biological fathers only, with the rapid changes in the family structure they came to include non-biological fathers as well. We follow the common practice in the research literature and use “fatherhood” to include child rearing responsibilities and fathering activities as well, regardless of whether they are carried out by biological or non-biological fathers.”

This month in celebration of fatherhood, this writer asked several fathers to answer the question: “What have been the greatest joys of fatherhood?

The reflections note the articles were submitted several years ago as a joy to send again!

Reflections on fatherhood
Dad “Charles”

My greatest joy of fatherhood has been watching my children live, grow, and learn responsibility. I love my children. I am always their “Dad” and therefore, I will always be there for them.

My children, the love of my life!
Dad “Marc”

When I think about my greatest joys of fatherhood, I must first thank God for blessing me with a son and daughter. I thank God for God’s grace and mercy, the gift of forgiveness and restoration. I could/should have lost my life to the streets, but God had other plans for me. When I think about those times when I taught my children to ride a bike; driving or walking them to school; and God’s blessings for being able to provide for them, all bring me tremendous joy. Now that my son is a young man, I enjoy having those one-on-one conversations with him about life. My daughter has her questions too and I am happy to give her my listening ear and give her fatherly and godly advice. If I had to state my ultimate joy of being a father…it has been sharing the love of Jesus with my children. In turn, my children bring me joy when they tell me: “I love you daddy” and when they say those simple, but extremely meaningful words: “thank you.” I cannot describe how grateful I am to God for blessing me and guiding me to be a God-fearing father and for blessing me with my two beautiful children.

“When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.”
– William Shakespeare

Next week: Continuation of previous years of father reflections

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