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Are You Proud to Be a Father?

Jeff:
So I want to ask you guys a question. Are you proud to be a father? Now it might be a little bit of a weird, I kind of don’t like that word proud because we don’t have a better word in English for the feeling of like, this is a good thing I’m doing. But that’s what we’re going to be talking about.

Jeremy:
Yeah. The way you said it too in the beginning, it was almost like, are you proud to be an American?

Jeff:
That’s right.

Jeremy:
We can remix that with father, we can remix that.

Jeff:
Yes, that’s right. And one of the reasons why I thought about this recently is I heard this quote from General Douglas MacArthur. You know, he was a huge part of World War II and you know, very, very famous, one of the most famous and decorated leaders in American military history. And he says, “By profession, I am a soldier, but I am prouder, and infinitely prouder, to be a father. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle, but in the home.”

When he says he’s prouder, and I was just really kind of wrestling with it, what is he talking about there? What exactly does it mean? And is this something that we need to consider? And I think it is a really, like, there’s a deep question that I think this caused me to really think through, and that is, when I like really check my heart and I think about like, am I more proud of things that I’m trying to accomplish outside the home, or am I more proud of what I’m doing inside the home? And again, using the word proud as I see it as more valuable, I see it as more important.

But I think that word proud oftentimes kind of speaks to not just like, what do I think in my head, like you might say the right answer, no, the home is more important. The question is, what do you feel? Like what’s going on in your gut? What’s happening in your heart? Are you really gaining a lot of like a sense of yes, I feel like I’m really doing what is the most important thing in my life when I see success through what I’m doing in my fatherhood?

I think that’s important. And whether you’re struggling in your fatherhood or not, feeling like that’s the thing that really matters to you and that’s what you’re really intentionally leaning into, I think is really important, and I think that often we can struggle with this and just to hear somebody really come out and say, who is so successful, could have really gotten any kind of identity from his profession in a way that really distanced him from his home and his family to make the decision, no, I’m going to say, “I am infinitely more proud of what I’m doing as a father than I am in other areas of my life that may or may not be a big success.” That, I thought, was a helpful thing to kind of think through.

Jeremy:
Yeah, and one thing I would add to that too, is, you know, another helpful question that I always ask myself and it’s happened even a few times when people have asked me of, you know, the big questions in America are, you know, what are dreams for your life and where do you see yourself five years from now, and kind of all these big questions, right. And do you immediately jump to something work-based or do you immediately jump to what you want your family to look like? And I think that’s a helpful, again, gauge of that question, you know, of, if you’re most proud of being a father over and above everything else, then you’ll almost be in situations sometimes where your answer doesn’t sound that awesome, if that makes sense, right?

It doesn’t sound that awesome to say, “Where do you wish you are in five years, or what’s your big goal in the next two years?” And you just say, “Well, I just hope that we have really healthy and good marriage and that my kids love me.” Right. That sounds kind of boring. But that’s really also like, ideal, like that is what really creates what we’re talking about of, you know, a strong family team that can actually impact the world and be on mission for the kingdom. But it’s funny how that kind of clashes with like the boringness doesn’t, it’s not flashy, it’s not spectacular, but those questions really kind of weed that out.

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