An Essay on Fatherhood
Posted onJune 16, 2013bymamaheartfilled
Fatherhood means so much more than just giving life to a life unlived, it means dreaming of things yet undreamed, and sustaining hope in a hopeless world. It means being there for my children through thick and thin, and not walking out on my family when things get tough. It means a Christ-like sacrificial love for their mother who gave them life, while providing for my family, and defending and protecting them from the evil influences of this world. It means setting the example by reading God’s word with my family, and going to church with them, not just letting them go on their own. It means untiring prayer in exhausting circumstances; and leading them through a wilderness of sin when all they can see is a godless generation before them. It means showing them God in that godless world, and choosing to remain faithful to Him when my own and their faith is struggling to live.
Fatherhood means seeing each of my children as individuals, loving them as equals, respecting them as little people. It means being careful with my words and actions, which influence young minds and hearts for good or evil. It means respecting and nurturing their budding sexuality without allowing myself or others to hurtfully infringe on its natural progression in their lives. Fatherhood entails an absolute acceptance of who each of my children are as a person, while leading them with a firm spiritual guidance in an evil and ungodly world, and having an unconditional love and forgiveness for them when I am disappointed in their words or actions. It means choosing to love them when my children are unlovable. It means not seeing their imperfections as permanent flaws, but as opportunities to grow and learn more about themselves. It means showing them my own imperfections, while trusting that they can also learn from me and become better than I ever hoped to be as a human being. It means not trying to live my life through them, but allowing them to be who God meant them to be. Fatherhood confirms to me that life is not without hope, that the future is in God’s hands, and that my life will continue through them when I have gone on to be with Him.
Fatherhood is the greatest gift God gave to mankind, to know that we are instruments in His Creation, to know that we participated in His purpose and plan for life on earth and in the hereafter. Fatherhood is life, and hopes, and dreams; it is failures and disappointments, repentance and forgiveness. It is perseverance in parenting a new people for Jesus, overcoming life’s trials through Him who overcame the world, and showing the next generation how to overcome the world by the word of their testimony and by the Lamb of God. It means sharing the truth of Christ’s redemptive plan to a new generation that they may go unto all the world. . . .
Happy Father’s Day!
An Essay on Motherhood
About mamaheartfilledI am a mother of eight wonderfully challenging children and nine grandkids, of whom I am very proud. I am also a bi-vocational ordained evangelical minister, and a Christian Counselor. I received my B.S. degree in 2004, studying primarily in the areas of Psychology, with minors in Religion and English. I received my Masters Degree in 2009 in Psychological Counseling with an emphasis in Christian Counseling. I have endeavored to paraphrase the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, for the last ten years or so and am working on a final edit, now. It is my hope that it will be of some use in the great commission of Christ. My ministry is primarily geared toward victims of sexual and domestic violence, including victims of childhood sexual abuse, whether currently or in the past. Since I have personally experienced the healing hand of God in overcoming many of the life issues that Christians may face, I feel qualified and compelled to discuss them in a truthful and open manner, as God’s word tells us that “We shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free.” God has brought me through such diverse tribulations as sexual, physical, and mental abuse, being a victim of a drunk driving accident, spousal pornography addiction, adultery, divorce, remarriage, a very brief, though unjust, incarceration, and having experienced multiple miscarriages and various other trials. I have been asked to leave two Southern Baptist Churches, due to my being a female, ordained as a minister, and fired from a SBC sponsored Christian School (mostly white) for speaking out against racial prejudice in the Family of God. Through God’s merciful forgiveness of my own sins and inadequacies and God’s grace given to me to forgive those who have been a stumbling block to me, I have overcome many of these adversities. God’s word tells us that “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to the purposes of God." Since I have this hope, I believe that God has blessed me with the ability to confront and relate these issues to the Christian community around the world. I hope to be able to use my personal experiences as a ministry of God’s grace and in the comforting of the people of God with the truth of God's mercy. I claim II Corinthians 1: 3 & 4 as my calling, which states: “Blessed be God, the Origin of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Origin of mercies, and the God of comfort; who comforts us in all our troubles, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, by the comfort we ourselves have been given by God.” As I have received the gift of God’s healing, I hope to be able to bring the peace beyond understanding to others with the message of God’s mercy and grace. My love for the Sovereign Lord of my life, Jesus Christ, along with my passion for writing has drawn me to explore these commonly experienced crisis issues from the perspective of my own experience in the hope that I may bring an empathetic and compassionate insight to God’s people. I am now a published author and have several books in publication, including my autobiography, "A Little Redneck Theology." The views expressed in my writings are strictly my own insights, acquired from personal experience and diligent study of the related topics and God’s word concerning them. Though I am an ordained minister, my views should not be considered authoritative. I believe that the Christian community’s ultimate authority is the guidance of the human heart by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
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There has almost always been a strong emphasis on mother-child relationship on the child’s overall development and growth in interpersonal relationships. This is because most of the early research was focused on the bond between mother and child. It was also based on the concept that women have the genetic gift for providing maternal love and care and everything the child needs for a healthy growth and development. It cannot be denied that women have rightfully been seen to be the major contributor to a child’s development. However, assigning the role fully to the mother is a sign of incomplete understanding of the psychological needs of a child.
Fatherhood too has an important role to play in the growth and development of a child. Here we will explore the importance of both fatherhood and motherhood and why the emphasis shouldn’t be tilted so heavily in one’s favor.
Significance of Motherhood
Motherhood has rightly been seen as the more important of the two aspects of parenthood. Women have both the physical and emotional endowment to bring life into this world and to ensure the overall well-being of the child. Her contribution to parenting cannot be removed from her gender. It is certainly due to her femininity that a woman contributes something better and richer to her child. The vast amount of evidence related to the psychological requirements for bringing up a child show how significant motherhood is in the lives of children. Her importance cannot be replaced by anything, including fathers.
Significance of Fatherhood
Motherhood may contribute in a bigger way to the development of a child, but that doesn’t mean that fatherhood can be eliminated from the overall development phase of a child. There is a lot of similarity between fatherhood and motherhood in terms of the shared human nature between man and woman. However, these similarities don’t negate the big differences. When the objective is to have fully-developed and healthy children, both mothers and fathers should be part of a child’s growth process.
The influence of fatherhood on children at the psychological level has been found to be distinctive and irreplaceable. In fact, as the importance of fatherhood was realized at a progressive rate over time, its concept has undergone shifts at different levels. There was the strictly patriarchal system, followed by breadwinner concept to the friendly playmate to eventually the co-parent concept.
In fact, the scientific community, before 1960s, believed that fatherhood was comparatively unimportant to the overall development of the child. Modern behavioral scientists, when they began studying the role of fatherhood, found that fathers could be as capable as mothers when it comes to being an effectively nurturing caregiver. It was also found that the bond between father and child can be almost as strong and influencing as between mother and child, at the emotional level.
Importance of Father’s Love
Father’s love influences a child’s development at a much deeper level than it has been believed to in the general perception. In fact, lack of it has been found to cause a wide range of developmental and psychological problems in children. This includes behavioral problems, adjustment problems, cognitive abilities, and even gender-role realization. Modern scientists have come to the conclusion that there are two aspects of fatherhood that have the biggest involvement in the child’s overall development. The first one is the warmth of the father-child relation and the second aspect is how involved the father is.
The level of involvement from the father includes factors like how much time he spends with the child, how much they make themselves available, and how much of the responsibility they take over themselves in the welfare and care of the child. All these factors contribute to the overall quality of fatherhood. This quality of the relationship between the father and the child is what makes the biggest difference.
Relation between Lack of Father’s Love and Psychological Well Being
Many studies comparing fatherhood and motherhood have found that father love has a bigger impact on the child’s psychological well being. It has been found that there is a deeper negative impact, often leading to aggression against peers, when there is lack of warmth from the father. Studies have also shown that depressed or offending young individuals were affected more deeply when they felt rejected by the father than their mother. Even important emotional and psychological consequences like distress, satisfaction with life and happiness was found to have higher impact from father-child closeness than from mother-child closeness. This was found both in the case of male and female children.
The level of impact fatherhood plays in a child’s life has been found to be much deeper than ever thought before. Studies show that the impact of father-child relationship warmth is so deep that it has big influence on a teenager’s perception and response towards some of the most important social aspects of life including roles of sex, marriage, and divorce. In fact, the impact of father’s warmth is also significant on childbearing in teenage years.
One reason scientists believe why father’s love and care contributes in a unique way is that they can engage in multi-faced interactions with their child compared to mothers. They are also more likely to inspire the child to become competitive, independent and open to risk taking.
Even today there is a strong belief that motherhood plays the most important role in the development of a child. The fact is that both motherhood and fatherhood are crucial to the proper development of the child. If the modern studies by scientists are to be believed, any lack in father’s love and contribution to the parent-child relation can have more serious consequences than similar shortages in the mother-child relationship.
If anyone wants to bring up healthy child who is developed in all aspects of social, emotional and psychological factors, equal emphasis should be laid on quality fatherhood and motherhood. The influence of father’s love and care is independent of the child’s gender. The importance of father-child relationship is equally important to both sons and daughters.
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