It’s an unfortunate thing to be a fatherless kid. Beyond the outset of having father-void, you also have a secondary frailty that’s almost as devastating as the first. No reference point for the how to, what for, and why. Reference points, or what I liked to call “monument moments,” are crucial to the healthy emergence of boy to man. Healthy dads received apprenticing in these path markers from their (healthy) fathers. Disciplines like loving their mother, spending time with their kids, money management, how to shave, how to relate to other men, how to dress, how to treat women, how much to work and not work, why and how we pursue our faith as men and families (and so many more).
Broken Boys = Broken Men. The magnanimously sad and dysfunctional thing is that fatherlessness is passed down to the next generation regardless of the fatherless dad’s desires, or his attempts and his giving an-all out effort and wanting to be a cycle-breaker. Even the most well-intentioned, good-willed dad who grew up fatherless and wants to be a great dad is still infected with fatherlessness. He’s still broken. “A guy doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”
So what’s the answer to knowing what you don’t know about being a good dad who leaves a healthy, whole legacy for his sons and his daughters?
In many ways I’m that guy, the broken boy-broken man guy. You see, I’m still finding out and learning to adapt to some of those things I didn’t learn as a boy but should have, from my own father. I’m a father of three fantastic sons who are incredible kids in spite of my father-frailties. God’s example of fatherhood (which I’m learning more about daily) has simply been overwhelming to me but it’s what has saved me as a dad.
Now, before I share with you a few of the “monument moments” I’ve had as a fatherless father you must know one very important thing:
It’s never too late to be a cycle–breaker in your family and for your children.
There is so much responsibility in being a cycle-breaker.. But listen, YOU CAN DO IT!! If I can be a cycle-breaker, anyone can.
8 Ways To Heal The Broken Boy
- You can’t be a father until you’ve been a son. I didn’t learn this until later on in my journey. A boy must be led by a healthy father. It’s the natural order of manhood. Boy apprenticed by healthy father, then boy becomes man, then man becomes father. Side note: I fought against this for sometime in my journey, and I regret it. Don’t make my mistake.
- Find a healthy father who will apprentice you. This is the next, most imperative step. I call these great men Double Duty Dads. They are out there near you. Find them. This will require some degree of humility. For me, a lot. Find a man of faith – a guy that follows, loves, and is a disciple of Jesus. (This doesn’t mean just any church goer or a religious person. It means a disciple of Jesus.)
- Live intentionally as a cycle-breaker. It’s all right initially to feel a little intimidation and hesitation. In the early stages, that’s normal. But these feelings will wear off as you continue your journey as a cycle-breaker.
- You can only lead your family as far as you yourself have gone first. It’s a journey. You’re a pioneer. Be bold and tenacious. Remember how you grew up fatherless and what that did to you? Okay. You don’t want to pass that on to your children and their children. You’re the one to break the cycle!
- Develop disciplines in your life. Whatever your disciplines are or are not spill over onto your family. Disciplines eventually become monument moments, so build them into your daily routine, and be faithful.
- Great fathers are built over a lifetime. Build yourself and become a father one day at a time. Make the most of every moment. Plan and strategize for the next 50 years. It happens moment by moment and continues, even after your kids are adults themselves.
- Learn the rudiments of fatherhood. Protector. Provider. Spiritual guide. Leader. Celebrator. Trainer. Teacher.
- Learn to rest. Rest is an amazing art. It’s not slothfulness or laziness. It is the place where dreams, insight, and peace come from. There is also a great deal of personal joy that comes from rest.
Hope and wholeness is available to YOU.
PURPOSE * IDENTITY * SONSHIP