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Fathering in a New Age
Our culture is beginning to awaken to the reality that we are collectively suffering from a lack of healthy fathering. More attention is being focused on the importance of fathers, "not just as economic providers, but as nurturers, disciplinarians, role models, mentors, moral instructors, and skill coaches" says Dr. Wade Horn of the National Fatherhood Initiative.
Many of us grew up either without fathers or with fathers who rarely gave us the attention that we deeply and secretly yearned for. Every young boy needs the clear and loving reflection of an older man, one who sees him not only for who he is, but for who he might become.
A young man ventures out into the world along the path that his father has prepared for him. If he has been blessed, admired, and fed by his father, he will step out into the world with a strong sense of who he is. If he has been abandoned by his father, or told that he is not enough, his steps will be tentative and cautious. He will remain hungry and empty, and will continually look for validation for what he has done.
Our training creates an opportunity for each man to be honored and blessed, not for what he has done, but rather for who he is. When a man finally accepts and believes that he is enough, he can offer his gifts freely, rather than selling them for recognition.
Our training will not necessarily make a man a better father. But it will certainly put him in touch with the theme of fatherhood that he carries within himself. We often father our children in precisely the same ways that we were fathered, and if we are to turn the tide, it is essential that we examine the legacy we've received from our own fathers. If you are a son or if you are a father, the NWTA may be for you.
By doing this training, I finally came to terms with my own father, as I was able to forgive him for the marvelously imperfect job that he did. And I can now forgive myself when I am an imperfect dad. The men in my community help me to remember that the most important part of being a good dad is simply to love my sons and to love their mother.