Stong Homes Need Masculine Dads
- masculinity, dadstrong, be dadstrong, men, stong home
Unless you were born yesterday, you have seen this change drastically over the past 15 to 20 years. It has changed so much so that now men are beginning to question their own purpose and place in this world at an alarming rate. The consequences of this are far reaching and I am not sure we will fully understand the true extent of it for decades to come. In case you are not tuning into what I am referring to here, it’s masculinity in our culture.
I will not delve in to government agendas or secret societal plots to breakdown the fabric our society. (My tin foil hat is sitting this one out.) There are many who have debated where this trend of emasculating the men of our society got its start, but I will not touch that either. I want to discuss how the dismantlement of masculinity is effecting our boys in way we parent them today.
The pressures of being a perfect parent are higher than ever. With all the information available to us as new fathers and mothers, it is almost suffocating to even begin to form a plan for raising our kids. And with the stories of parents getting reported for letting their kids walk to the park alone, or wait in the car while dad runs into the store to grab few things, raises the stakes to a whole other level.
As someone born in the mid ‘80s, I was the product of free range parenting. I was a latch key kid for most of my childhood. Half of my childhood was spent in a rural town in northern California where my afternoons were spent building forts from rusty nails, taking my bike off of sweet home-made jumps built from scrap wood, and practicing archery into hay bales against the barn outback. My days and play times were not structured, they were…er…organic in nature.
If I was raised into day’s culture, my parents would have likely been reported by a nosey neighbor and I likely would have grown up a product of the system. I would have missed out on valuable skills that can only be acquired when a boy is on his own to problem solve. I learned confidence, resourcefulness, and how to use a first aid kit. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for hands on parenting, but there has to be a balance. We can’t skew completely to helicopter parenting because our kids might get hurt.
But what this over protective society has taught our kids, is that we need to be hyper sensitive to everyone around us because we just might cause unintentional harm. This is an eggshell type living that creates more caution than necessary. We need to raise men and women to be bold and fearless, empowered by love.
This is what true masculinity should look like: a life empowered by love to protect those who cannot defend themselves and to leave a legacy for others to aspire to. The difficult thing about this, is that it requires fathers to be okay with their children surpassing them in all areas of life. It requires vision, patience, and thinking beyond a selfish moment by moment style of living.
I don’t claim to have all of the answers on this, and I am very early in the process of raising a young man. What I will say is that my heart is to love my son in a way that shows sacrifice, intentionality, selflessness, and stability. If my wife and I do nothing else, we want to show both of our kids that they are loved no matter what, and that we never lose sight of who they are meant to become.
Allow me to challenge you with this if you have a son: do you know their unique gifting for this world? Do you know their passions, desires, dreams, and personality? I am not talking about forcing you son to follow in your footsteps. There is a proverb that says, “Raise a child in the way that he should go, and when he is older, he will not depart from it.” Do you know the ‘way’ that your child should go? It will be unique to him and you will likely need to surrender your own perception of what that looks like.
In finding some sort of closure to this post, my thoughts move towards this term “toxic masculinity”. There is nothing inherently toxic about masculinity, but there is something deadly about self-centered living. We were never created to live for ourselves, but rather, we were intended to selflessly love others (And that is a topic for another post, or podcast). Our culture and twisted nature has injected toxicity into what was meant to be powerful and protective. Masculinity is a very good thing, just not in the way it is modeled in our American culture. This is why we need role models to rise up, dads to grow in mental, physical, and emotional strength. Let’s be strong dads. Let’s be “Dadstrong”.