Fatherhood Is Not a Popularity Contest

Fatherhood is not a popularity contest. And another way to put it, that’s in the notes that Jeremy put, is dad’s cannot afford to be people pleasers. That immediately rings true to me. That immediately, I think, viscerally I react to it, yes, you have to actually be gung-ho, focused, clear eyed in regards to your mission, your vision, where you’re taking your family, not caring about what other people are thinking, in some regard, obviously you want to take wisdom from people around you. But it rings true. So, I’m interested to hear what you say or what the quote is for today, Jeremy.

Yeah, guys. So, the quote is from Ralph Moody, and this guy wrote an amazing book called Father and I Were Ranchers. I would highly recommend it. I’m going to get a couple more quotes from this book and talk about it. But this one is just simply, the character, the father, that is in this book, he says, son, there are times a man has to do things he doesn’t like to in order to protect his family. And I think that that is something that needs to be really discussed, celebrated, and really teased out when it comes to fatherhood.

What are the kinds of things that a modern dad has to do that are just a part of you just sort of taking the hit for your family? And I think one way to think about that is to really be aware of the areas where there’s just a lot of pressure on you, and you have to hold the line as the dad.

An example of that is, sometimes this is within your own family, with your kids. I know one area that we’ve really try to hold the line a lot is, in this area of sleepovers, particularly when our kids are really young. That was something we just weren’t that into. It’s very difficult for us to protect our kids in those environments. That’s where a lot of sort of negative stuff happens, and so we were pretty careful in that area.

I think another area is oftentimes pushing back on employers. And so, sometimes there’s an expectation that, hey, in order to get ahead in this job you got to show up and work more than everybody else. We really don’t care if that has implications for your family.

So, what does it look like to protect your family from the pressures of the world, whether those are things coming at your kids, things coming at you from the culture? So, obviously, this is probably talking about in areas where you might have to protect your family physically, emotionally, spiritually. These are things that we need to really think about as dads.

Yeah, and I think one thing, guys, that is kind of a cousin of this for sure that is more subtly pertinent to a lot of families, and specifically dads, and actually moms, is the kind of social media pressure or an idealistic life that you need to live, or some type of picture or curation of how everyone else is doing something. It’s kind of like a newer version of peer pressure. We don’t do that in groups as much anymore, of like, we’re all standing around, nine people choose the bad thing and we say, yes, we have to do that. But there is this weird kind of what you think you can share online, how you think you can live, and just kind of your collective value system as a family.

I think a lot of us don’t realize that we’re letting a thousand voices into our head, because we’re so much more connected than the past. Which then is a very much subtler form of people pleasing, and it’s very much us kind of bowing down. In some sense, I think this is also true even as Christians, bowing down to cultural mandates, to cultural views, simply because we don’t want to get in trouble or it’s too hot button or something like that.

Now, I don’t think that also means the justification of just, go ram it in everyone’s face. I think there’s also truth and love and grace and a demeanor and wisdom, but you can have that anchor and that security in your own life as a father of saying, no, no, I know this is the right choice. I can do that gently, I can do that winsomely, and I can do that lovingly in my neighborhood, in our city, in the schools, in our workplace, but I’m going to do this because it’s the right thing.

And I think we have to really submit to that and learn from that. Because again, a lot of us, I don’t think we realize how much we’re kind of curating or pursuing certain parts of our life simply for the result to be accepted by family, friends, or culture. And that to me, just doesn’t get us anywhere. You fast forward that 50 years down the road, and no one is very excited that they created a life that everyone around them will say is good, or that there’ll be accepted by a certain person. And so, that one’s one of those ones where you can kind of trace your future, and very easily realize, oh, yeah, I don’t want that.

And so, then that means you have to make certain choices now, and you have to have a certain belief system now. You have to have a certain value system now. So, I don’t know, what would you say to that, Jeremy? Or is there any kind of final thought there?

Yeah, fatherhood’s not a popularity contest. You have to hold the line on certain things. So, dads, figure out what that is, what kind of culture you want. Be strong. Be aware that this is just your job. And for certain dads, this comes really easily. Guys like Jeff, he knows how to hold the line.

This is a question that’s hard for me because Alyssa always laughs, where it’s like, no, you just go do it. Who cares what people say?

I know. I know. I’m very inspired by Jeff in this area. Other dads may be like me, that kind of, oh, we’re just doubting. Maybe we should go along with the culture. I’d encourage you guys, there are times you need to just stand up, take the hit, be the dad, protect the family, and make the call.

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