3 Common Mistakes Young Fathers Make In Fulfilling The Mission Of Fatherhood & How To Heal Them
I want to encourage the young fathers. This is for fathers that have fallen short in the mission called fatherhood. I know you’re there because I see you every day. You’re my relatives, my friends, my friend’s sons and my neighbors. And even more because, I’ve been there.
Let me tell you a little of my history. I became a young father in my mid-twenties. I loved being a father. There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do as a father, clean diapers or put my sons to sleep. I never let them get out of my sight when they played outside.
Then there was the problem in my first marriage; we fought ninety percent of our seven year marriage. Then the divorce and the separation from my sons almost killed me but the Lord had mercy on me. I almost lost my mind.
It was the grace of the Lord that allowed me to keep our sons for the first two years after the breakup. Then they stayed .with me every summer until they graduated high school. Now, the reason I’m telling you this story is so you can identify with my pain in this situation. In hopes that you’ll be able to receive my counsel in this matter for young fathers.
The Lord graced me to marry again. My wife and I did our best to be a good example of a good marriage before our sons. We have been married for twenty-three years; praise The Lord.
The reason I speak about this matter is because I see this same scenario happening before me in the world and the church. I’ve prayed for many young fathers that are in this silent pain. Too many times, not only the woman but men are devoured in the situation called divorced with children. They end up with no rights as a father. I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy.
My desire would be to help you avoid this pain. But since things are how they are, I want to give you my best counsel. Whether you find yourself divorced as a father or a single young man as a father, there are three common mistakes we as men make in fatherhood.
No forgiveness. The first thing you young fathers have to do is forgive yourself. Then forgive everyone else involved. Forgiveness is key; it opens the door to a new life. In this case, most of the young fathers may not have been fathered themselves. I know this is not the case all the time, but it is usually that way.
No commitment. The second thing you need to do is still commit to be a good father to your children. Even if it’s only a small amount of time that you get to spend with your children, be the best you can be. I always told my sons; I only got fifteen minutes with my dad a year. And look how I turned out, I’m not that bad. And we would smile.
No patience. Third, decide to be present for the long haul. Many of us want to avoid pain. So, we end up not intentionally but nevertheless, avoiding our children. Because every time, we see them it’s a reminder of that pain.
I cried every time I had to put them on a plane back to their mom in another state. One time I was a little sick when I took them to the airport, after putting them on the plane and going back to my car I cried so hard a stranger stopped and asked me if I was ok. By the time my youngest was in the twelfth grade I think I stop weeping, well I only had a few tears.
My point is I kept doing it. I kept sending for them. I kept facing the pain and walking it through (their pain and my pain). Just to encourage you; it does get better. I didn’t mean to tell you such a sad story. But I do hope to prepare you, encourage and strengthen you. I will speak on this matter more in the future. So stay encouraged.
Healing the father wound,
Rev. Varn E. Brown, Author
Healing The Wounds Of A Fatherless Generation