A few weeks ago, a discussion around fathers as providers became a topic for deliberation in our fatherhood group. And, the conversation was nothing short of spectacular! Who knew that guys have more things to talk about then women, cars, and sports? As someone, who sits with fathers on a daily basis sharing in their lived experiences as fathers, I’ve been privy to this phenomenon for some time.
When this conversation comes up; usually, the typical response for fathers around provision comes down to money for shelter and other basic needs. Granted those things are very important for the family’s well being. They are not the most important thing, that the dad brings to the proverbial table. If not, then what is it?
Why is provider, consistently, mentioned before any other traits to describe his role? As fathers, we’re hard-wired for doing. We constantly measure for progress and success to show that our doing is working in our favor. When we meet someone new, we quickly ask the following question: “What do you do?” It’s followed up with “I am a … (insert some occupation).” More often that not, it doesn’t lead to anything of significance for further discussion.
Often times, we’re engaging in doing something that we don’t like for the sole purpose of taking care of our family. It might be stealing our joy or time with our family, but we do it with little thought of the consequence or toll on our love ones. One thing I know this to be true is when I put my energy in places that it shouldn’t be, operating at my best is not possible. It’s a disservice to my well being.
As fathers, our children need us to be at our best for them. More importantly, they need us to be the best for ourselves. When he’s the best version of himself, he’s providing his children with so much more than basic needs. He’s providing them with everything that they need, which is a healthy, whole father loving himself for the sake of his family. Now, he’s giving from a completely different place. He’s giving from his heart, which was designed for unconditionally loving his family. He’s providing vision for the most important people entrusted to him. Ultimately, it will outlast the money for physical shelter and basic needs. This love is the building block for his legacy! When it’s all said and done, his family will have an accurate account of what he has done with his life.
What vision do you have for your family? What legacy do you want to leave? Fill free to comment below.