Father’s and Men

DSCN2705The headline had caught my eye: “Do modern dad’s get enough credit?”

A click or two later, I was making my way through a maze of hyperlinks and had 10 tabs of articles open on my computer screen.  Each held an article or website devoted to dad’s being dads, books about being a dad, tips for being dads, and even satirical fatherhood memes.  It was a lot of information to undertake.  One article even gave me a facebook group for dad bloggers.

For those of you who have spent any time reading on this page (thank you so much by the way for spending a slice of your day reading this stuff), you know that manhood and men’s ministry is near and dear to my heart because it is waving to us as a society, church, and culture in the rearview mirror.  I love talking with men about becoming men, issues we as men struggle with, and learning how to best follow the ultimate man, Jesus Christ.

I clicked on the group for dad bloggers and asked to join.  I told them of my background and what I liked to do and the ministry I felt most called too.

They responded back with a single question: “Are you a dad?”

I answered back “no” and was banned from joining the group because “the group was only for dads”.

But what if manhood preceded fatherhood?  I know this, when I am dealing with middle schoolers, toddlers, or college students (all very similar at times with attitudes and actions) and my manhood feels challenged, when I question myself or feel they are questioning me and my authority, I fall far from the standard that Jesus calls me too.  When the area of my greatest insecurities about being a man are put on display by students, is when my largest failures come.  So what if we trained men to be of integrity, to know their identity, and to understand their mission, before they were fathers, would some issues be warded off?  I think so.  Wouldn’t we all become better husbands, fathers, sons, employee’s, bosses, disciples, and leaders if we became better men?  I think so.

I greatly hope someday to be a father…but I know that I have much growing as a man to do first.  But thankfully I have guys like Clark, Chad, Brad, Brant, Sparky, Greg, Randall, Josh (pictured here) and Tim, who all have help me realized that before fatherhood needs to come manhood.

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About Travis Long

I am a cowboy saved by the grace of God.

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