Let me tell you, I’ve got it rough. It takes me thirty minutes to commute to the office so I can inspire and equip more men to be Championship Fathers. Many days it takes even longer because of traffic! Don’t people know I have important places to be?
Well, you may know that leading up to Father’s Day we’re honoring some everyday heroes, and I have to tell you about one named James Maina, who might just have a rougher commute than me.
James is a native Kenyan and a master trainer for our programs. He was equipped by another trainer, Dave Clark, and now James uses our curricula to equip community leaders, pastors, YMCA leaders, prison officials, and men from refugee camps, who then spread the fatherhood message all over Africa.
James is a husband and father of three; he has a master’s degree in education, and for ten years he held a position equal to a school superintendent in his country. But he left that because he has a passion for fatherhood and saw the great need around him.
And let me tell you, there are huge challenges. It’s about five miles from his home to his office, and many days he walks. More than once, he’s been beaten up or robbed on the way. Some days he gets a ride in the back of a crowded van, but he basically does whatever it takes. He’s that sold out to spread the message; he knows it’s important.
So, whenever I’m driving in my air-conditioned SUV and start getting irritated because the world isn’t cooperating with my schedule, I think of James.
It’s so exciting for me to hear about everyday heroes like James who not only are good fathers, but also enlist other dads, because that’s how we’re going to win the battle for today’s children. One of the greatest challenges facing our country is father-absence, or fathers who for some reason choose not be involved in their children’s lives. Statistically, it negatively impacts many of the markers about the well-being of children.
So one of the ways you can leave a legacy beyond your own family and make a difference in our nation is to engage other fathers, whether they are disengaged from their kids or they simply need an encouraging word or an insight that might help them through a fathering challenge.
Now, dad, I hope I’m not disturbing your daily routine too much, but as an everyday hero yourself, are you considering ways you can help unleash responsible fathering where you are? Please think big!
Maybe challenge dads you know to make a Championship Fathering Commitment to their children. Maybe lead a small-group of dads. Or, bring our WATCH D.O.G.S. program to your children’s school as a way to encourage other dads to get more involved. Maybe you could be trained, like James, to lead other men. The point is, use the opportunities before you to reach out to other dads. There’s no better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to share some of the joys and blessings you feel as a father with other dads who may need your encouragement.
I know that many of you are actively involved in enlisting and equipping other dads. Please tell us about what you’re doing either in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
If we all get involved, positive change in our culture—and our world—can happen!
- Ask yourself and another dad you know well, “What can we do to help strengthen fathers?” We have some ideas at www.fathers.com/getinvolved.
- This weekend, participate in activities that your child suggests. Make sure you aren’t taking your opportunities as a father for granted.
- Tell your children about James Maina or someone else you admire who makes great sacrifices to help others in some way.
- Enlist other dads using social media. Like us on Facebook, then be active in sharing, commenting, and promoting what you see there. (You can also follow us on Twitter.)
Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture of fathering in America by enlisting 6.5 million fathers who to make the Championship Fathering Commitment. NCF believes that every child needs a dad they can count on, and uses its resources to inspire and equip men to be the involved fathers, grandfathers and father figures their children need. Subscribe to his weekly email tip by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a great dad who loves, coaches, mentors, and inspires my children.
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