Statistics tell us 40% of children in this generation are being raised in a home without a father. This, of course, only accounts for those homes where the father is physically absent, so it doesn’t even include those where the dad is there but is not invested or engaged.
Studies also show, more than in any previous generation, women can – and want to – raise their children on their own, without the presence of the children’s father.
And it’s bull-donkey.
Here’s the deal: I am strong. I am smart. I am a dang good mom. And if life required it, I could raise my children without my husband.
But I don’t want to.
Truth be told, I don’t know another woman in real life who wants to either. We know our children need and want their father. Common sense can tell us that. I need and want him here too. Life has taught me that. But we don’t just need him to share our address. We need – and want – him to share himself with us.
Do not let society feed you the lie that fathers have become obsolete (or, that all the women think so). On behalf of the other wives and mothers out here trying to raise the world’s future leaders, thinkers, athletes, and artists (or at least not raise a bunch of jackasses), please hear me loud and clear: WE NEED YOU. WE WANT YOU. What you bring to the table as a man and as a father is irreplaceable.
So, bring it!
Are you an intellectual? charismatic? introspective? goofy? kind of nerdy? all of the above? Bring it. Whatever God saw fit to put inside your head and your heart when He made you: bring it to the table.
Do you know what happens in the hearts of your children and your wife when you bring yourSELF to the table? When you truly engage — when you close the computer, silence the phone, turn off the TV — and you look us in the eyes?
It’s like the entire atmosphere changes. The hearts of your children and your wife breathe a sigh of relief when they don’t have to compete against the rest of the world for you. Not just your financial provision; YOU. Your actions, your attention – YOU – can establish that there is no competition.
Oh, but you’re married to a strong-willed woman, you say? Your wife doesn’t really want “all of you?” She has the family dynamic on lock, and you’re just a minor piece in her puzzle? I get it. Maybe it’s just easier to lay low, don’t ruffle the feathers, go with the flow, and only “bring to the table” what she wants? I hear you.
But you should man up.
If your wife is so strong, then she is strong enough to handle your strength showing up at the table. Just ask my husband. (Word on the street is, he’s also married to a strong-willed woman.)
Imagine it, though. What could God do in and through your family if both you and your wife brought your whole selves to the table? What if you showed up not to squash each other’s strength but to sharpen it? “Iron sharpens iron,” right? Both pieces of iron need to show up for that, or all you have is a couple of dull pieces of metal never reaching their full potential.
Your family needs you, men. More than that, they want you. Not a generic idea of “husband and father.” You. Specifically, you. Actually, you. Intentionally, you.
We’re at the table. We’ve saved a seat. It’s just for you.
Amanda Uher is a writer based in Charlotte, NC. She and her husband Matt, have two kids, Owen and Molly. Check out her blog All The Little Pieces.
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