Plough Logo

Shopping Cart

      View Cart

    Subtotal: $

    Father holding child and looking across lake with mountains behind

    Re-founding Fathers

    By Johann Christoph Arnold

    June 14, 2017
    • metin erdem

      Dear Christoph; We have learnt from you how to be a good parents.We try to be good parents as you taught us in your books. I am glad that I have met you and be your brother. Thank you for all you did for us. May you rest in peace.

    • Sandra

      I would like to thank you very much for your article which was forwarded to me by a very good friend. I too love my father very much and was brought up with strong ideas of right and wrong thanks to him and my grandfather. I have been given a lot of strength by my father and still consider him to be the best friend I ever had. He has been through a lot with me. I made a lot of mistakes and it was only recently when he went into hospital I had the chance to really consider who had been there for me all my life through its ups and downs...My father provided my grounding in faith and I have always had him as a good role model. I always seem to be asking myself in funny situations what would my dad do or have done. How would my dad respond... There are unfortunately a lot of people who do not have this family background not always through the parents fault but through lack of opportunity and there is a lot in this world that can drag people down and make it impossible to be good parents in a way they should...from my experience I would say that because we have had the good examples given to us we have to educate the people around us not by speaking but by actions showing them what love, patience, endurance and care can do. We have to follow Christ's example in the true meaning of what he said. We have all to be fathers and mothers to children and adults alike it is the only way this world is going to change and it is very bad at the moment because a lot of us have been neglecting our faith and are quite lazy!! God bless, Sandra Majdoub

    • Neville

      Dear Friends, It was so wonderful to read the articles on Fathers Day. In today's world of commercialism the true value of remembering people like "Fathers" and "Mothers" is something of the past. It is sad, but a lot of folks spend times in Malls and shopping centers trying to figure out what to get for their Mother or Father to make "their" day great. How about a small note to your "Dad" or "Mum" telling them how much you love them and appreciate all the time and patience they have had to endure to make you and mold you into what you are today. Again, thank you! In Christ! Your brother Neville

    • Joe

      what a wonderful article! So simple, yet so profound in wisdom...My Dad passed away when I was 12 years old so I really didn't have the blessing of a loving male role model in my life. Love is the answer and Patience, and faith in GOD are so important for a man to be a good father. Society needs good fathers to guide their children to grow to be responsible adults. . I pray GOD will answer our prayers and inspire men to lead holy lives as husbands and fathers. happy fathers day to all of the dads at rifton peace and all goodness Joe Coralluzzo

    • Richard

      For me, The father of two very fine young men, twenty two and nineteen, the two most vital things I was able to give to my sons were love and a father who strove to be honest and humble with them. I joined a self help group just before my first son was born, and one of its abiding principles was to strive for rigorous honesty, and another was to believe in something beyond one’s self. For many, the latter is the god of the Bible’s old or new testament, the Quran, or other scripture that defines Him. I am not a believer that these are necessarily the word of God, but from my own introspection, I found my own belief, and I shared this process with my sons. I also shared with them my foibles and my strengths, as I understood them. This laid a foundation for their respect in me and for their own humility and the finding of their own beliefs. My wife and I stressed matters of the spirit in our home to found a universally based idea of ethics and morality. Today, I can look most proudly at my sons and see two men who have a strong sense of right and wrong and a developing sense of themselves. In short, I believe that the main things a father must impart to his children are love, humility, and honesty. Richard Kimball

    • Robert Griffin

      Today I have these two beautiful children so excited to share their school made gifts with me, and I also have the memory of my first son who died suddenly at 30. I think that losing him taught me more than anything that it is time that I owe my two little girls. I had regrets about my parenting of him, but we all make mistakes as younger parents and most of them can be corrected as we grow with our children. But the one thing I could never "fix" with him was my time. As a young man I was so busy trying to provide for my family that I missed the most important way to provide for him and that was by simply being there. That is why when I knew we were adopting Dora and Hannah I set up my life to be a work at home Dad, so that I could be here for them... I go to their skating parties, their school field trips and the school events. And when they walk in that door, home from school, I put down my pencil and let them know that them walking through my door is the absolute best moment of my day. We don't earn near the money I used to and it is difficult at times, but the rewards are so much more than the things money buy. I've also learned that boundaries are one of the best gifts I can give my children. Some of the younger parents of my girls' peers feel that my wife and I are too strict, but I see that kids who don't have clearly defined boundaries are fearful and they act out on those fears. Children with boundaries and clear expectations become secure and confident. Confident enough to eventually challenge those boundaries and establish their own, which really is their job. All the best, Robert Griffin

    • Claudia Grammatico

      Hi Christoph I think the article you wrote about Father's Day is extra-ordinary. It will be wonderful to share this with so many... Thank You for your continuous wisdom and inspiration.

    • Ken Averill

      Wonderful words of wisdom. I thought I might share a quote I once heard, although I now don't remember who said it. Well here it is any way; "The greatest gift a man can give his children is to love their mother."

    • Jim

      Thank you so much for this article. I have printed it out and will keep it where I can re-read it often. I found myself nodding in agreement, and alternately wincing in pain as Johann's words reached my heart and conscience. My goal is always to be a better Dad...unfortunately, I do not always reach my goal on a daily basis. Pray for me, as I will be praying for you, to be the kind of Dad that God intends for us to be with the children He has entrusted to our care. Father's Day Blessings! Captain James C. Kisser, Jr. CFRE

    Many problems in our society will be solved when young men are willing to become good fathers. Of course, they can do this only if they have an example to follow. As fathers, we need to be the strongest role models for children, especially for our sons.

    I loved my father. He had a tremendous sense of humor, but he also was strict and set boundaries which I didn’t always appreciate at the time. I always knew he loved me. Once when I was eight or nine, I angered him so much that he threatened to punish me. I looked up at him and, before I knew what I was doing, blurted out, “Papa, I’m really sorry. Do what you have to do – but I know you still love me.” To my astonishment, he leaned down, put his arms around me and said with a tenderness that came from the bottom of his heart: “Christoph, I forgive you.”

    Like many fathers today, my father’s work sometimes kept him away from home for long stretches. I remember as a five-year-old, if I refused to obey, all my mother needed to do was to show me his picture. “Your Papa wouldn’t like it,” she’d tell me, and I’d give in.

    I felt very secure just being with my father. As a small boy I decided I wanted to be like him when I grew up. This relationship held me through hard times, even after his death. Now I want to pass this on to my children, grandchildren, and to all of you.

    Fathers, if you love your wife and if you love your children, give them your time. Spending time together will give your family inner and emotional security. This is much more important than financial security. The Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral writes, “Many things can wait. Children cannot... To them we cannot say ‘tomorrow.’ Their name is today.”

    The love we show our children by giving them our time and attention can hold them in good stead even years down the road. As Dostoevsky reminds us in The Brothers Karamazov, “You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home…For if a man has only one good memory left in his heart, even that may keep him from evil.”

    To be a father is to fulfill a noble vocation. But fatherhood is not for everyone: it is not for cowards or for those who are unsure of themselves. Once we become fathers, we remain fathers until we die. A true father must be a leader – a captain who guides his family’s ship through perilous waters to safe shores, a general who rallies his troops to take on the daily battles.

    On the other hand, a father should also model love and compassion. Jesus was not afraid to compare himself to a hen gathering her chicks. He also wept. These qualities belong to true manhood, and a true father will seek to embody them.

    Finally, I believe even the best intentioned fathers will not be able to fulfill their task without finding a firm faith in God. When they do, our families and the entire country will be strengthened, because strong families form the backbone of our nation.

    father holding child and looking across lake with mountains behind
    Contributed By Johann Christoph Arnold Johann Christoph Arnold

    A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, education, and end-of-life issues, Arnold was a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities.

    Learn More

    Sign up for Plough's weekly newsletter