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“While unstable families make for a more dramatic story, ordinary, hard-working dads are not celebrated as they ought to be.”

Join Andy Lamberton as he chats with Spud Murphy (director of RUMbLE), about why we need fathers.

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RUMbLE website.
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Why We Need Fathers – Reflection Article
by Stephen Mullan.

In our first episode of the Legacy Podcast, Spud Murphy shares about why we need fathers, and why fathers need each other. As I listen back, his thoughts on the significance of fathers and the power of a father’s words carry fresh weight.

  • Batman: Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered when he was just a child, leaving him without a father.
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker’s father, Richard Parker, was a scientist who died in a plane crash when Peter was still a child. He was raised by his aunt.
  • Superman: his father Jor-El dies early on in the story, leaving Clark Kent to be raised by the Kent family on Earth.

One of the things that most superheroes share is fatherlessness

While unstable families make for more dramatic stories, the result can be that ordinary dads who want to leave a legacy in their kids’ lives are not celebrated as they ought to be.

Dads really matter

Fatherlessness is a big problem in society. The research is clear: when dad is absent, boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.

While progressives can often question the necessity of a father, traditionalists can often limit his role to ‘bread-winner’. However, a biblical understanding of fatherhood not only affirms the vital role of a dad but also points to a work that is more than simply bringing in the money. I like how Spud summed up a father’s role in three Ps.

A father’s role is to:

  • provide
  • promote (or encourage)
  • protect

So, where to start?
In a society where too many dads have gone missing from action, one of the main things a father can do is to simply show up! That simple commitment to being present in our children’s lives is one the biggest gifts we can give them.

A father’s voice really matters

Fatherhood, obviously, is more than just showing up. One of the things that Spud describes so well is the power of a dad’s voice. Our words carry weight and they are desperately needed.
Right at the heart of the teen mental health crisis is the anxious search for identity and significance. This is something that father’s can directly speak into. And we should.
As the world questions everything about who we are, a dad’s voice can give their child’s sense of self a solid foundation in the midst of so much confusion.
As Christians, we need look no further than the example of the Father’s words to His Son, “this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased”. Before He had achieved anything in public Jesus Christ knew His Father’s approval. And during the years of not only fame but also rejection, He walked with the complete assurance of His Father’s love.
It’s possible for our own kids to walk out into the world with a similar confidence that they are loved and significant – but that starts with us finding our voice as dads and speaking truthful, loving words into our children’s hearts.

By Stephen Mullan
Cohost of the Legacy Podcast.

Stephen directs the work of Dreamscheme Northern Ireland, a youth work charity that provides support and opportunities to young people growing up in housing estates. He also writes on the subject of youth via his newsletter Rethinking Youth. Stephen is married to Sharon and has two young children.