On fatherhood

dad and son and truck

Fatherhood is a complex and vaporous reality, full of powerful compounds and tools, volatile materials, and ingredients. The force of nature called fatherhood, and the life changing ability inherent in the person called father, are monumental. These ingredients are pivotal and foundational  principles in the history of mankind.

We hold in our hands the futures of the children with whom we are entrusted. For better or for worse, the future of these little ones pivots on our abilities, or lack there of.

We fathers who actually see the truth of our position, who reach out beyond mere biologic sperm donation, have a common denominator, which I believe is this: we come to realize that we are no longer individuals, and recognize the fact that we are in the process of putting aside our own personal, selfish, inward looking nature, which is so prevalent, and celebrated even, and are actively reaching for something higher or grander or more expansive than our own gratification. We have come to realize that the beauty of our calling and position lies in the band of people called family. Yes, these are individuals, but between them exists a metaphysical bond that cannot be removed. And the father is the source of this bond.

The father stands at the crux of the collision between individuality and community.

The smallness or bigness of the vision with which the father operates will determine  the width and breadth of community and family, that complicated band of individuals who are connected invisibly.

Fatherhood is fore-running. It is pathfinding. It consists of making a way for individuals, for a wife and some children, or perhaps a blended family, to become cemented into a permanent and life-giving relational band called the family.

This is not easy work. It is not peaceable, or tranquil work. It is man’s work, warrior’s work. Father’s work. But it is good, no- the best work, one man could put his hands to.

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