By Beautiful Day Testimonial
A father’s involvement in the family and parenting is essential to the overall success and development of the family. And this desirable involvement comes with enormous responsibilities, which oftentimes results in a father encountering certain challenges in his quest to meet up with fatherhood demands. However, before looking into what some of these enormous challenges are, knowing who a father is, would help our understanding.
Therefore, to begin with, a father, according to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, is a male parent or a man who has begotten a child. And in the God-sense of speaking, a father is the source, owner, as seen in the first person of the Trinity. However, in a Scholastic sense of speaking, a father is a Christian writer accepted by the church as an authoritative witness to its teaching and practice, also called church father. Furthermore, a father can also be said to be one that originates or institutes.
By the above definitions, a father is not only an individual who biologically creates a child. But can be one who may or may not have a biological relationship with a child. Besides being a parent, a father might be a legal guardian who possesses certain obligations and rights towards a child. A father can be an adoptive one, a biological one, or even a stepfather.
For the purpose of this article, we are looking at a father in the broader sense of the word, not only as the biological male parent of a child. Because, besides the paternal bonds of a father to his child/children, the father may be one who has a parental, legal, and social relationship with a child and that carries with it certain rights and obligations.
Comparatively, a biological father is the male genetic contributor to the creation of an infant, through sexual intercourse or sperm donation. A biological father may have legal obligations to a child not raised by him, such as an obligation of monetary support. An adoptive father is a man who has become the child’s parent through the legal process of adoption. A putative father is a man whose biological relationship to a child is alleged but has not been established. A stepfather is a non-biological male parent married to a child’s pre-existing parent, and may form a family unit but generally does not have the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent in relation to the child.
In addition, a male role model that children can look up to is sometimes referred to as, a father-figure.
Because fathers carry a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders, the dilemma in always trying to spread their time across many roles is a challenge being faced by them. Like how to manage being a husband, a father, an employee, a leader at church, a volunteer at the social club they belong to, etc., is certainly a challenge.
The solution to this challenge is for every father to try and create time in his daily busy schedule to love his wife and kids as well as they need to be loved. This is because spending a little time with each one of them is important as they all have different needs at the different stages of life. Learn how to balance work and family life. In the pursuit of business, ministry or career prospects in order to provide for family and serve humanity, fathers should also strive to make quality time out to spend with their families as their presence is highly needed. Once you become a father, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. Tasks get put on the back burner. Your marriage can get put on the back burner too!
Most fathers struggle with communication. Finding common ground with their wives or kids is a challenge. Some fathers simply cannot connect with their kids as they get older, some find it difficult to understand their teenage kids, as the children seem to be less interested in the parents. To overcome this challenge, you have to befriend your children at a young age. Make them comfortable around you that they will always want to talk to you and tell you everything. Create time for them and make them feel loved and cared for.
Develop a connecting strategy with your kids without exasperating them. The key is to endeavour to be consistent by creating the time to really talk and pray and study scriptures with your children.
Agreed, most fathers don’t have enough time in the day to spend with their families which may be due to work commitments. However, creating and spending time with the children and having dedicated time for one-on-one engagement often with the children, in spite of your busy schedule, will help out.
Many fathers struggle with doing what they know is right to do. Because the devil is a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, some fathers assume that it is too late, since they did not start early on how to teach their children about God and some moral standards. But it is not. Start NOW. Don’t delay further.
Another challenge fathers encounter is knowing how to set the right example. Not having a good example set for them while they were growing up and not having mentors to tutor them, is a contributory factor to this challenge. The solution to this is facing reality and doing everything to try and save their relationship with their spouses and kids, by learning to treat them with the respect and honour they deserve and need. This can be achieved by first of all respecting themselves, looking out for their health, spiritual and physical wellbeing.
Procrastination is another challenge. This is the challenge of putting off the right thing to do presently for a later time. It is about knowing what to do but not actually doing it, when it ought to be done. The Bible says in James 4:17, “therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin”.
Next, anger is a major issue with some fathers. They are impatient with everyone and get mad at everything. To curb this challenge, fathers must learn to: speak to their children without yelling, be consistent patient parents, put their children’s needs before and above theirs, keep their cool with the children who often times are irrational.
To be intentional and focused, is another issue father’s face. It is one thing to know what do to as a father, and it is an entirely different thing to stick to the idea and get it done. A lot of other things take the attention away. The question is, even those who actually start doing the right things as leaders in their homes, how do they remain focused and committed to doing what God calls them to do? When does it become a lifestyle? Some father’s gets distracted by work or other issues and are not able to give their children the attention they need.
To overcome this challenge, fathers need to know how to relate with their kids uniquely, in a way that ensures the children’s specific needs are met. Also, to be effective in their fatherhood roles, the need to pray more effectively to receive grace in fulfilling their responsibilities as fathers, is pertinent.
Most of the issues father’s face, end up being a problem in leadership. This may be due to the fact that many were not given great examples in leadership from their fathers. However, be that as it may, God is still calling on fathers to lead their households in their roles as husbands and fathers. We can see this in Genesis 18:19.
Other ways of tackling some of these fatherhood challenges is to develop the power of choosing the life you want! This is pertinent because, we don’t have a lot of control over anything in life, but the one thing we can control is how we react/respond to what life gives us. Thinking we can control life or others, is an illusion; something we need to let go of to be truly happy. Many fathers try to keep control over everything in their lives and at the end, they get desperately frustrated, mad, sad or out of control when things don’t go their way. Whether its finances, marital issues or parenting problems.
No matter how much money we earn, it never seems to be quite enough. For many of us, wage increases simply don’t keep up with the cost of living. Thus, money is almost always one of the top fatherhood challenges!
Many a father, get worried about household budget. They stress over not having enough money to go on vacation, save for retirement or pay for their children’s education. Some struggle with the idea of what to get their wives for their birthdays or wedding anniversaries that will be acceptable and they also stress over trying to do some house chores and minor repairs around the house.
As a father, I take a deep breath, accept that it’s frustrating to not get to do what I need to do, acknowledge that I have to modify my plans, understand that I can’t control everything at the same time and I have the courage to move on by tackling one thing after the other in the order of priority.
On this fatherhood journey, there never seems to be enough time to do everything. This is where we put our needs and wants in order of preference. Fathers can never be everywhere at the same time so we can choose where we want to be per time.
Work, kids, spouse, household chores all compete against one another for your very limited time. Making sure to make time for everything can seem like an impossible task. Hence, it is crucial to use a tool for time management. Some set time table, others set out a day or two to be with family. Whatever works for you, so long as you are getting the desired result.
Most fathers tend to neglect their spouse’s emotions unintentionally, trying to sort out what feels more pressing, leaving their spouse emotionally bankrupt. When your romance was new, it was all roses and sunshine. But somehow, life conspires against our relationship once we become parents. Somehow, everything gets prioritized above your spouse. You need to be intentional about creating and spending quality time with your spouse.
When you are running yourself busy trying to parent, work, keep up with chores and remember to spend time with your spouse, it is easy to put your own needs on the back burner. Thus, one of the fatherhood challenges is making sure you stay healthy, exercise and have enough time to yourself to recharge and rejuvenate. After all, if your health and mental state fail, you can’t take care of your family.
As with the above, finding effective means of managing stress is crucial! Exercise. Spending time outdoors and finding a way to balance all of life’s priorities is crucial. Whatever godly method that works for you, should be utilized.
It is understandable that being a man is challenging on its own, talk more of parenting, having to nurture another human. It will get challenging and even looks impossible, but putting on the right approach will always bring about a positive result.
To all the fathers out there who are joyfully taking up their responsibilities, we love and celebrate you!