Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fathers are important

Psychology today has a great article that should be an encouragement to fathers. Fathers matter in the life their children even if you are different than the more widely celebrated parent. It seems that there is a new body of research that have analyzed the way that fathers add value to the emotional develop of children. Interestingly enough, researchers are discovering that fathers influence is important but different from mother.
What emerges from their [ work is the beginning of a truly modern concept of paternity, one in which old assumptions are overturned or, at the very least, cast in a radically different light. Far from Mead's "social accident," fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children.Key to this new idea of fatherhood is a premise so mundane that most of us take it for granted: fathers parent differently than mothers do. They play with their children more. 
 Interestingly, while mothers tend to relate more on a emotional level, children learn a lot about relation to others emotionally from their fathers. Children learn a lot about reading the emotions of other, reacting to those emotions, and listening to others. Fathers play an important role in teaching children how to cope in certain situations.

Unfortunately, the benefit of what a father brings to a child is diminished in the industrialized and post-industrialized economies have generally caused more fathers than mothers to be distant from their children regularly. Further, the trend has been to emphasize the typical maternal characteristics and to de-emphasize the more playful and less nurturing parenting styles.

Of course, none of this should be taken to make the mother's role less important. But dads we should be encourage that being a dad is an important role. Being different from a mom is important, too.

Fathers you are important in the development of your children. Mothers celebrate the difference that your children's father makes in their lives. Dads be playful and spend as much time with your children as possible.

Happy Fathers Day.

Monday, June 07, 2010

God is more like a wild animal

CS Lewis responded to the question "Is God safe?" with the answer, "No, but he's good."

I thought of that when I saw this picture....


A zoo is an artificial environment where we think we are going to look at wild animals.

They aren't wild. Zoos aren't natural. They pen once wild animals up in a place where they are isolated from any danger they could cause.

Too often I think Christians put God into their own little Church Zoo.

He's safe in there.
   He can't claw at us.
       Doesn't he look just like a little teddy bear.

That's not the way God really is. That's just the way he appears.

Let's let God out of the cage. Run the risk of him ripping us to shreds. Look at him in his natural environment.

Then we might know just how good he really can be.

Otherwise he might just become a freak show for 2nd graders to visit on a field trip.

Thanks to Abraham Piper for the picture idea.