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Why Your Character As a Dad Matters

By: David Wilson

Fatherhood is a journey that isn’t to be taken for granted. Being a dad comes with superpowers that can change the lives of our kids and spouses, either for the better or worse. Never have dads been more needed to show up for their families than today. The reality for many families is heartbreaking. 25% of kids live in a home without a father. 50% of marriages end in divorce. Many dads are stuck on autopilot and just drifting through life without a purpose.

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Every dad is meant to live as a hero for their kids. That doesn’t mean that all dads are supposed to live mistake-free. A hero dad isn’t a perfect dad. Heroic fathers have weaknesses, but they work extremely hard to learn from them and own their mistakes. They see mistakes not as failures, but as opportunities to teach, learn, and grow.

 

The Three Pillars of Heroic Fatherhood

There are three pillars to living your life as a hero dad. The first pillar is saying yes to yourself by building self-care into your life. A heroic father understands that foregoing time to fill his own cup denies his family from experiencing the best version of himself. The ability to be a heroic father largely depends not only on taking the time for self-care, but knowing exactly what you need to be able to recharge properly. Often, self-care is needed the most during seasons of heightened pressure and intensity. A hero dad prioritizes preparation and builds self-care into these busy seasons, refusing to sacrifice it so that he can be more fully present with his family even when the pressure is on.

The 2nd pillar is to prioritize your marriage. Your wife comes first and your kids need to know this. Assure her that she is your first love and your first priority. Build a strong connection with her and make her feel seen by setting aside time to be with her. Our job as parents is not to raise our kids to be merely functional adults, but to raise them to be adults that thrive. We set our kids up for success by treating our wives as the queens that they truly are. A hero dad doesn’t elevate his kids above his wife.

Don’t make your children feel like the center of their own universe. This is a disservice to them. Instead, a hero dad should be the model for his daughter to look up to. Show her, through your actions, the caliber of man that she should seek out to lead her and her family.

The 3rd and final pillar needed to live your life as a hero dad is to be fully present with your kids. It doesn’t matter what age your children are. What they really need is simple and it never changes. What they need is YOU. What they need is their dad. A heroic father understands that time is the only thing we cannot get back. Our kids grow up so quickly. Put your phone away. Be in the moment. Play with them. Take them on dates. Educate them. Talk with them. Love them deeply. Make sure they know how much you care and how proud you are of them. Don’t be afraid to be real with them. Make sure they understand that you aren’t perfect, but despite that, you’ll continue to grow. Ensure they know that you’re committed to never stop striving to be the hero dad you’re meant to be for them.

Pay Attention to the Cracks.

In order to live out a heroic fatherhood, every pillar is crucial. The goal is to see all three of these pillars standing strong together. At the same time, it’s a foregone conclusion that you’ll have seasons where one pillar stands stronger than the others. This is to be expected.

Don’t waver. All pillars serve the same purpose, to help you build the legacy of a hero dad. If you find that you are really struggling in one area, lean on the others to support you as you work towards recovering. Concentrate on taking small steps and fortifying that pillar a little bit at a time. Reach out to somebody who can lend some encouragement or guidance to help as well. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Your pillars are going to crack and weather. The imperfections are always going to be there, but it’s important that you don’t neglect any one of these areas for too long. The process of becoming a hero dad is a lot like the construction of a building.

You need a solid foundation and maximum support, which you may be able to get by for a bit, but eventually, the cracks will begin to show.

If these cracks, or blemishes, aren’t addressed, the whole thing will eventually come crumbling down. If they are continually ignored, these cracks will affect the legacy of heroic fatherhood you want so deeply to create. A hero dad, just like a magnificent building, relies on the support of the other pillars to remain standing. All three of these areas were created to work in unison and to help give your legacy more purpose and definition.

 

There are far too many men out there willing to settle for being an ordinary father, because the effort required to live your life as the hero dad you’re meant to be is extensive. It isn’t easy. It takes commitment. It takes determination. It demands accountability. The risks are great, but the rewards are even greater.

As a dad, there are many dark valleys that you’ll have to walk through, but the highs that fatherhood brings are incomparable to nearly anything else in life. They simply cannot be explained and need to be experienced to be understood. Live like a hero dad and start fortifying your pillars today by saying yes to yourself and setting aside time to recharge, prioritizing your marriage by building a strong connection with your wife, and eliminating distractions and being fully present with your kids. Refuse to waste the time that you have with your loved ones. Don’t settle for being an ordinary father. You’re meant to be so much more. You’re meant to live as a hero dad.

 

That’s the hero dad mission.

Shane Achey, founder of the Hero Dad Mission blog, is a husband and a father of 4 kids, He has a passion for fatherhood and walking alongside other dads to help them build stronger families. Shane seeks to help dads break away from ordinary fatherhood by accepting the mission to live as a hero dad. You can learn more about the hero dad mission by reading his blog or signing up to his email list.

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