Where Is Dad? -- Part 2
- Friday, November 01, 2002
This is the second of a two-part article on the role of Dad in the home school. We have already established that home-school dads are conscientious and responsible compared to fellow dads nationally. They work hard because they know it's the right thing to do in taking care of larger-than-normal families. They know that providing for their families is important, as part of their conviction to home educate their children. Without a consistent provision, moms will have to work outside the home and the home school can't survive.
Frankly, being a father of five children, David feels this burden every day. Having to figure out how to make a living with the needs of a larger-than-average family is not an easy task. The need to do this weighs on fathers every day. At least that is David's experience. It is probably true of the vast majority of dads. It would be surprising if there is a home-schooling dad alive who doesn't constantly desire to make sure that his wife and every child have everything that they need.
However, at times this may be a mark that is not being hit. That places even more of a stress on Dad. I'm sure that whether or not the man in your house is hitting the goal, he would appreciate the children's prayers for God’s provision on a daily basis. No doubt. He knows that our Heavenly Father always hears the prayers of children!
If you are the mom reading this article, you might be the one asking where dad is. Being a home-schooling dad isn't the only role he must bear. He is also a husband to his wife. One of our challenges as fathers is to not forget our role as husbands too. We are called to love our wives and be there to encourage them.
When we speak, David will remind the husbands in the audience to take a phrase out of their vocabulary. Guys, never again should you be caught coming home from the workplace, walking in the door, throwing down your coat and briefcase, looking around at the disheveled living room, and saying, "What have you been doing all day, Dear?"
Get rid of it, man! She's been raising your children while you have been providing for them. Duh. So realize instead that you need to encourage your wife. You need to find time to tell her she’s great. That she is extraordinary. That she is incredible. Love your wife. And let her know that you do as often as you can.
Now we all go through our trials and difficulties. Life is rude. Things don't always go as we like. So perhaps you, as we are at present, go through very hard circumstances that make you wonder sometimes if there's any light at the end of the tunnel. That's a time when dad may be rather distant, either physically or even when he's in the same room. He might have a lot on his mind. He may be carrying a lot on his shoulders.
But a good dad will realize that he still has to be there for his children and his wife. He will fight the temptation to become overly introspective. He will try to make himself available to work with the children in whatever way he believes is best. Right guys?
Here's a challenge (from David) for all of you men reading this article. Take some time this week to get alone and just think about what you are going to do to work with your child(ren) this fall in one way more specifically than you are doing right now. Maybe you will spend Saturdays working together around the house. Or perhaps you will start a Bible Study on Tuesday nights with the kids. Or read "Lord of the Rings" together before bedtime.
Guys have a lot of responsibilities as dads. But we are still called to be dads, too. No one else can do this role for us. It's a challenging task to be a dad in modern America. But if we don't do it, it won't happen. Make sure you are there for your children. Let's be diligent and faithful so that our kids never have to question Mommy with the question, "Where's Daddy?" They will see that he is right there where he is supposed to be.
David and Laurie Callihan are authors of "The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School: A Parent's Guide for Preparing Home School Students for College or Career," and the brand new "Christian Homeschool Daily Planner" (with their Grand Plan built right in). Learn more at www.davidandlaurie.com. They are regular columnists on Crosswalk's High School page.
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