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    the feet of a boy in a boat

    For the Love of Fathers

    By Maureen Swinger

    June 13, 2018

    Fathers matter a lot, and while Father’s Day is, for the most part, a great excuse to go fishing, have a barbecue, or watch a game, it’s also a great chance to think about the importance of a father’s role.

    two boys fishing with their dad

    Why Dads Matter – Glenn Stanton

    (And why moms don’t throw babies!) Fathers who challenge their children to take risks while keeping them safe give them an irreplaceable gift.

    Kids Need Your Time, Not Your Money – Johann Christoph Arnold

    “In an age where the dollar has cast its spell over every corner of public and private life, the most insidious danger to children may be the economic lens through which we view them.… And the same materialism that breeds such hostility toward children also welcomes them with open arms when they have money to spend.”

    And This Amazing Blue – Paul Sanders

    “For the first three or four years of my son’s life, I wasn’t a dad; I was just a person in the house who occasionally ate with the family. I was always busy: talking on the phone, answering emails, watching the news, and reading the newspaper.… Now my son is the most important thing in my life.” Finding God, and becoming a real father, were deeply connected for Paul Sanders.

    The Stars in a Child’s Heart – Bill Wiser

    “‘Daddy, I want to see the stars.’ Feet firmly planted beside the bed, my four-year-old daughter repeated the request more loudly. It was past midnight. Stumbling out of the front door with an oversized jacket wrapped around us both, I wondered why I had ever introduced her to the heavens.”

    Three Poems for My Sons – Jacob Stratman

    “Happiness, theologians tell me, is not joy,
    but they haven’t seen how the ball curves
    as it leaves your small hand…”

    Fishermen’s Friend – Johann Christoph Arnold

    All of this isn’t to downplay the good of fishing and baseball, of course: “Fishing, like prayer, can bring peace of heart and give time for personal reflection. Like prayer, it can be disheartening – sometimes the catch will be small, or there will be nothing but a few bites. Both fishing and prayer require patience and humility, because with both, you ultimately depend on an answer from outside yourself.”

    And some books!

    Why Children Matter

    In Why Children Matter, pastor Johann Christoph Arnold offers time-tested wisdom and common-sense advice on what children need most, what holds a family together, and how to rediscover the joy of parenting. With chapters on founding a family, the unborn child, birth, motherhood, fatherhood, teaching respect, building character, discipline, the role of grandparents, the special child, consideration for others, teenagers and more.

    Charlie the Tramp

    When Charlie the Beaver announces that he wants to be a tramp when he grows up, his family is not impressed: “I am surprised to hear that,” said Father. “Your grandfather has been doing beaver work for many years, and I too am a beaver, but you want to be a tramp.” “That is how it is nowadays,” said Grandfather, shaking his head. “When I was young, children did not want to be tramps.” A great read-aloud about finding yourself and your place in the family, by Russell and Lillian Hoban.

    Contributed By MaureenSwinger2 Maureen Swinger

    Maureen Swinger is a senior editor at Plough and lives at the Fox Hill Bruderhof in Walden, New York.

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