-Tyler Durden, “Fight Club”
This quote comes from a movie I wasn’t really fond of, but thinking about this quote hit me. In today’s society the importance of having a father is becoming downplayed in a lot of ways. One-third of all children in the U.S. do not live with their biological father, according to fatherhood.org. Studies also show that living without a father increases the chances for teen pregnancy, child abuse, crime, and poverty. These children need fathers that are active and engaged in their lives. What are all of these absent fathers doing? Why don’t they care about their children?
There is no easy answer to these questions. What we need to ask ourselves is, what can we do to change the tide? What can we do to ensure that children have fathers? There are many different ways to go about this goal, but one of the chief ways is to show men what authentic fatherhood looks like.
What does authentic fatherhood look like? An authentic father is a father of faith, strength, character and courage. A father who is obedient to God and courageous to the point of sacrificing his own child, as St. Joseph did, and Abraham would have done. An authentic father has faith that the Lord will provide for him, and more importantly, for his family. In the words of Abraham . . .“God himself will provide” (Genesis 22:8). How do we fathers live so as to set an example of authenticity to other men? How can we live up to the challenge?
There are lots of little things we can do which can make a huge difference in our lives and the way in which we serve as fathers. A men’s cross necklace might serve as the perfect reminder of Christ and how he has taught men to live. Perhaps even praying 20 minutes a day might allow us to connect on a deeper level with our spiritual father so that we can bring our children to him as well. For some, reading a good book for fathers might do the trick. The important thing is to find what reminds you and guides you to being the best father that you can be for your children—because they deserve it. As the movie quote shows, we are our children’s models for God, therefore the model that we set can greatly influence their views of God. What do you find that helps you be the best father you can be? What’s the hardest part of being an authentic Catholic father?