We recently asked our readers – mostly Christian fathers – to help us learn about the biggest challenges they face as dads. Their responses were humbling, inspiring, and heartbreaking. The insights we gained through their input seemed too valuable to keep to ourselves.
Therefore, we’re releasing our first State of Biblical Fatherhood report by way of this blog post. It features anonymous context about our dads, their struggles, and some ideas we have for how fathers can address these problems in their lives.
In summary, here are three major challenges Christian dads face that emerged as the main threads:
- Dads feel like failures. Everything from providing financially, to discipline, to how they spend their time. Most Christian dads believe they’re failing, either somewhat, or completely.
- Dads are struggling to lead well and be intentional. They have a desire to do the right thing, but are unsure if they’re hitting the mark. They want to set a great example, but aren’t certain what that looks like.
- Dads want to be better at training their kids and disciplining them well. We weren’t surprised to see this on the list. We were surprised it was such a distant third.
We encourage you to grab the report and read through it. We hope it helps you:
- Understand the heart of fathers – in particular, dads inside the church
- Be encouraged if you struggle in the same ways as these guys
- Consider our ideas for how you can manage these challenges
I have one major concern in publishing this information about biblical fatherhood research. Let me share that with you so you can guard against falling into a mental trap that can hold you back as a father.
On one hand – it’s great to share our struggles.
In fact, God commands us to do it! In Galatians 6, Paul tells the church to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). James instructs us to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16). When we walk through life’s challenges we’re told, in both cases, to lean on our brothers and sisters in Christ.
On the other hand – we can sometimes look at others’ challenges and conclude that we can just stop trying.
We reason, “Oh good. Someone else struggles with that. That is so relieving.” And we stop there. We file that info away in a mental folder called, “No action required.” The common struggle becomes validation and comfort, not a spur to action.
I hope that this information causes you to fight! To pray for the dads who responded to this survey, for yourself, for dads in general. I hope it causes you to take heart, gird yourself, and press on for the high calling in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).
With that as the backdrop, I encourage you to download the report State of Biblical Fatherhood. You’ll find that if you’re a father who’s struggling in some area, you have plenty of company.