The Importance of a Male Role Model for Young Dads
If you had a father at home, think of all the things you learned from him, good or bad, as you grew up. I know I learned a ton of things from my dad. Some were taught intentionally (mowing the lawn, changing my oil, how to shoot pool) and some were caught from just watching him as he talked to my mom, brothers, and his friends. Most of us had some sort of role model and/or father figure who taught us how to be men, deal with many aspects of this life, and how to respond when things unexpected happened. These examples have most likely contributed a lot to the type of dad you have become.
Now think for a minute about how you would learn these things if there weren’t a role model for you. Even as you consider that, you’re most likely relying on things your dad or whatever male role model you had taught you. So just considering what life would be like without a role model is influenced by the role model you did have! This underscores the importance of having a male role model in a young man’s life. As I’ve mentored young men, I’m constantly amazed at how some of them can know so much about the things they are passionate about and yet lack so much knowledge of just how life works. A young man I mentored was an amazing mechanic but needed help with how to hook up a trailer, how to heat and cool a house without central heat and air, and how to deal with conflict at work. No one had shown him how so he didn’t know what to do.
As Christ followers, this is the perfect opportunity to make disciples. Our primary calling, no matter our vocation, is to make disciples. Jesus did this through living life with His disciples. He ate at their homes, went to their parties, funerals, weddings, and other events. During His time with them, He was always aware that His primary role was to teach people what it looked like to honor God with one’s life. As His followers, it is our job to imitate Him and teach others to do so. Passing along practical things like how to be a good dad, deal effectively with the child's mom, or planning a career can involve passing along information about the One we serve and how serving Him impacts our life.
This is where we must keep in mind that while we have a practical goal to help these young men become involved dads that can support their children, the only true means of peace and satisfaction they will find is by submitting their lives to Jesus. They may or may not accept His invitation but that’s between He and them. Our job is love them as ourselves as described in the Great Commandment. If we follow the ways of Jesus, we will do so by caring about what goes on in their lives and make ourselves available to offer help.
Being a mentor through 365 Dad is a great way to not only teach young men what they need to get through this life, but to share what makes life worth living. See your young dad as your neighbor and do your best to communicate who God is through the life lessons you teach him.
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important[n] command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend[p] on these two commands.” - Matthew 22:34-40