Dads, The Heroes We Need Today

Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts, Sheridan House Family Ministries

Father’s Day ought to be Hero’s Day. A day when the role we traditionally title as “dad” is celebrated so the next generation can see it for what it needs to be. It is time for each of us with children to enlist in the “I Want to Be A Dad Who’s A Hero” campaign.

In generations past fathers were heroes. Their role was more easily defined. Dads provided security for the day and direction for the future. Fathers protected the family from the elements and enemies. They also had the chief responsibility to provide a philosophy of life for the future.

If you listened to many social re-constructionists, you would think that the role for the father is no longer needed. If some in the government had their way, they would lead us to believe they could take the place of the father figure.

Nothing could be further from our society’s need. There is no research to back up these absurd assumptions. In fact, just the opposite holds true. Many secular researchers have discovered the desperate need for a father figure in the American family. Forty years of residential ministry at Sheridan House has more than validated the desperate need every child has for a father who acts like a hero.

Two out of every three children who need to be in one of our Sheridan House homes comes from a single parent household. Fifty-nine percent have little or no contact with their father. Children need that hero living in their home.

The father of the past was a hero because he did what heroes do. He often sacrificed himself for the sake of his wife and children. He was the first line of defense for them. In short, he really was the first hero his children observed.

Heroes are people who give of themselves so others can benefit. Heroes are individuals who are willing to make sacrifices without being thanked. They do it because it is the right thing to do. They spend themselves because … they accept the calling to be heroes.

Today’s families desperately need dads who are Iwo Jima type heroes. They need fathers who put aside their own needs and desires in order to ensure the long-term needs of their wives and children are taken care of. Families need men willing to sacrifice career promotions because the requisite transfers would detrimentally impact the stability and thus security of their children.

Today’s father must also accept the challenge to be the spiritual leader in his home. That means spending time at the breakfast table each morning reading the Bible to the children. Even though a dad might not have grown up in a home where he saw this done for him, he can choose to learn. Today’s dad never saw his own father balance a checkbook on line, but he learned. A hero has to be willing to lead in areas that are foreign because he knows it is the right thing to do.

True heroes do more than lead sacrificially; they set personal examples. Today’s father can be a hero when he is willing to say, “I was wrong. Will you forgive me?” That is leadership training at its best.

Today’s father has to militantly discipline his eyes and stop looking at things that are inappropriate. That is a leader. Today’s father must choose to say, “We will not be doing what everyone else is doing when it’s not biblical.” That is what leaders do.

Today’s father must be a role model of forgiveness no matter how painful and difficult it is. That is a sacrifice that has not often been seen in television males. It is a biblical sacrifice that leaders demonstrate. It is what a real live hero must do for the sake of training the next generation.

Today’s father has the benefit of the role modeling done by the ultimate hero figure, our heavenly Father. “Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form” (Philippians 2:5-7, NLT).

We need heroes in the home today. Children need the benefit of growing up in homes where heroes do what heroes have always done – sacrifice for the sake of those they love. It’s time for each of us as fathers to accept the calling of heroic fatherhood. That means sacrificing for the sake of the next generation.

Visit parentingonpurpose.org for more advice from Dr. Bob Barnes and Torrey Roberts.

 

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