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The Fatherhood Effect

“You have an 8% chance of surviving the operation” said the doctor. “I was in total disbelief because what was originally thought to be a migraine, became much more complicated after discovering it was a tumor that developed around my brain. All I could think about was having to break the news to my wife and my kids. I remember pleading with God to allow him to let me live, so I can at least see my kids graduate from high school. My prayers were answered but I would never be the same.”


This is the story of Eric Franco who shared this experience with 170+ men at the recent Dad Edge Summit. His testimony had the majority of us in tears, facing the realization that despite our hardships, we could do better, and that our respective families were worth every ounce of effort. It reignited our personal “why” and further fueled our motivation to take ownership of our family legacy. Eric shared how two near death experiences shaped why today he strives to be an intentional father and give it his all for his wife, kids, and community. One man’s struggle is another man’s motivation.

The attacks on the family are real so we need to stand tall and fight to protect our family from the evils of this world. Secularism preys on the innocent and vulnerable.

Despite the stereotypes and attacks that modern society places on fathers, I choose to believe in the good in men. Regardless of our demographics and socio-economic environments, God entrusted each of us to care for his children. It is a blessing and a gift to be called “dad.” With that said, we are responsible and obligated to father to the best of our ability, despite our fears and inefficiencies. We’re the protector, the provider, and the pillar of our family. While we may fall short, God’s grace is enough.


Here are three areas of focus that can help fathers lead more effectively:


1. Christ

We should turn to Jesus and put him as the central focus of our lives. While we have the tendency to try and solve every problem, we should rely on our Faith and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Through our prayer life we can live more righteously and embrace the sacraments to deepen our relationship with the Lord. Saint Joseph is our model and through the Litany to St. Joseph we learn of the virtues of chastity, justice, obedience, and prudence ... to name a few. How different would life be in a world where fathers lead their households with these virtues? The fruits from this harvest would be extraordinary. The greatest gift is to model and teach our kids to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Don’t tell them, but show them.


2. Community

We should not try to take on the weight of the world but approach it with shared responsibility—with our community, the church, and people of like mind. In Proverbs 22:6 we read, “Train the young and the way they should go, even when old they will not swerve from it.“

We must put our pride aside, learn to be more vulnerable, and learn from fellowship and other like-minded men. It is said that we can go fast by ourselves but we can go farther when we travel with a tribe. Together we can do things more intentionally and live life with more purpose.



3. Courage

Dr. Meg Meeker said that we are the most important man in our kid’s life because we set the path of how they will see men. We must be courageous in conflict and embrace the difficult moments of parenting. It’s in the adversity that we build character and become better equipped to handle the storms in life. We must learn to say sorry and to ask for forgiveness. What a gift it is to have the sacrament of confession for we know that we will always fall short. We must be bold and learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable aspects of parenting. If we are passive or absent fathers, our kids will seek to be loved and accepted in all the wrong places. We can see the negative effects this has on all generations—the statistics on fatherless homes are staggering.


What is at stake? Why should we take action?


In his book, Consecration to St. Joseph, Fr. Donald Calloway writes, “When the Holy Family is celebrated in society, we will again know the sanctity of motherhood, the heroism of fatherhood and the blessing of children.”


The attacks on the family are real so we need to stand tall and fight to protect our family from the evils of this world. Secularism preys on the innocent and vulnerable.


We have what it takes to be great fathers and to be the leaders of our homes, but it takes work and effort. In the eyes of our kids, we are their heroes. So be brave, live righteously, and model the virtue you’d like to see in them. In the end, it’s really not about the presents we give them, it’s actually about our presence. Speak up and show up—it’s time to be the leaders God designed us to be.



“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”—Philippians 4:13



Richard J. Pintang


 

Richard resides in Southern California with his beautiful bride of 21 years, his 16 year old daughter and 11 year old son. Professionally he is a Regional Vice President for Dale Carnegie responsible for business development. He’s the host and founder of The Catholic Dadcast. Richard is pro-life, pro-family, and spends his spare time supporting the Church through leadership and ministry. He also has a passion for coaching youth basketball.



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