I have been a dad for about 28 years now and it is amazing to me how my role constantly goes through changes with all of my four kids . I can remember about 10 years ago how physically tired I was, not to mention how tired Cindy was! Our kids were 17,10, 5 and 3 years old at that time. Now the tiredness I feel with having two teens in our home, one in college and one married with a child living miles away, is more emotional. But the one constant from now, 10 years ago and 20 years ago is that in every "season" of fatherhood it has been very helpful for me to be involved in a men's small group of some kind to get encouragement and support for the fathering journey.
Another thing I have discovered is that I have needed to understand in each season of fathering that there are certain things my kids have needed from me. It has been really helpful for me to pay attention to those changes in the relationship so I do not either become complacent, thinking I've got this fathering thing wired, or discouraged as a dad, like Paul McCartney longing for Yesterday.
What if you could find some small group curriculum where the focus was learning to grow through the particular challenges that you are facing in your CURRENT season of fatherhood? Wouldn't that be a powerful small group experience? Well, this is what I have tried to do with some help from my friend, Pete Pagan. Based upon Dr. Ken Canfield's classic six booklet set, "Adventures In Fathering," we have written curriculum for six seven-week gatherings for dads that correspond
with each of Ken's ! six books. The "seasons" are: Dads of Newborns (0-2), Dads of Preschoolers (3-5), Dads of School-Aged Kids (6-12), Dads of Adolescents (13-18), Dads of Young Adults (18-parent) and Dads as Grandparents.
I believe that this publication could be a fun men's group study if the
particular small group consisted of men whose kids are close to the same age. Or it could be used as a bridge-building tool to reach out to a man who may not want to do a Bible study with you or attend church, but would be interested in learning about what is important for him to focus on as a dad in his particular fathering season.
To order the Adventures in Fathering Series click here. To get the Dad for all Seasons Discussion Guide click here.
It is a challenge to be the kind of father who doesn't lose sight of the high calling and privilege of being a dad. Any man can get derailed from the path at any point in the journey. The heavenly Father has provided tools and protection for us if we avail ourselves of them. One is called "fellowship," a sharing of life together, a learning together, a bearing of each others' burdens in prayer. And another is the tool described above that was designed to help facilitate that kind of fellowship among men.
Dad, your family is counting upon you to be a Dad, not just when it is easy, but to be a Dad for ALL seasons!