F8 Things Every Catholic Dad Should Know About Fatherhood

by Faith & Life, Family, Leadership, Love and Relationships

Father’s Day is an exceptional occasion dedicated to honoring the invaluable role and significance of fathers worldwide. It serves as an opportunity for all individuals, particularly men, to contemplate the true essence of fatherhood and evaluate our own commitment to fulfilling this noble responsibility.

While it is impossible to encompass the entirety of fatherhood within a mere list or sequence, I humbly offer a handful of essential principles that I believe capture the essence of being a father.

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8 Things Every Catholic Dad Should Know About Fatherhood

1. Encounter with God the Father: One can’t give what he doesn’t have. Many of us have been blessed with great fathers growing up (I include myself in this category) but others haven’t. In both cases, however, the source of Fatherhood must always come from above. Any man who seeks to be a good father, ignoring God the Father, will inevitably fall short. One must be aware that you aren’t in control of your family, God is. Your leadership and service must be fruit of your obedience and humility towards Him.

2. Conversion: A good father must be a converted man, or better yet, a man growing daily in conversion. Any man that abandons his efforts to live a Christian life, who doesn’t allow the encounter with God the Father to transform him, simultaneously abandons the most fundamental testimony that he can give to his children. The encounter mentioned in the first point must be an effective one; you must growchange, mature daily.

3. Man of Prayer: Conversion breaths prayer. Without it, it suffocates. If your schedule is too busy to allow time for prayer, change it.

4. Understanding your True Vocation: For those blessed to be married and have children, you must recognize that helping your families get to heaven and being good husbands and fathers – not your business career – is your real vocation. Ask yourself: “Is my work serving my family? Or is my family serving my work?”

5. Presence not presents: Fatherhood means presence. Presence is “being with”, “being for”. This implies that you invest serious time with your family. And when I say serious time, I am referring to both quantity and quality. Have the courage to set the smartphone down and look your children in the eyes. Take a moment to marvel at who they are and who they are becoming. Look them in the eye, listen to them, speak to them about the things that matter. Share with them how you are doing, what’s going on in your mind, in your heart, in your life. Share your “being” with them, not only what you have. Showering them with presents and fancy gifts is a poor substitute for face-to-face time; in fact, it isn’t a substitute at all.

6. Courage: Have the courage to love according to the truth. The truth is that life isn’t easy and neither is being a good Catholic. This means that you can’t be a blend-in kind of father. Have the courage to correct, to teach, to demand, to challenge. And then have the courage to allow them to do the same to you.

7. Love your wife: Men, you must love and cherish your wives, plain and simple. Your children will learn to love others by how they see you and your wife love each other. The husband-wife relationship is their first school in love. It is the first lesson in community, in communication, in sacrifice, and in service.  To love your wife means to offer your life for her, every day. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it.”

8. Be humble: In any relationship of service and authority, one quickly becomes aware of his or her own weaknesses. Don’t be afraid, accept it with humility; it is perhaps one of the greatest displays of authority that exists.

As a complement to this commentary, I would suggest reading the following article written by Randy Hain. I took it is a general model for this post and shared his ideas in points 3, 4,  and 7.

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