Don’t Be Like ‘Josh’: Be a Dad Who Considers the Consequences

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As I do my annual year-end reflecting, it’s been a good year, for many reasons.

But I can’t help thinking about a dad I know who really is struggling. I’ll call him “Josh.”

Today his family situation is drastically different from a year ago, and it’s all because of his own mistakes. He started down a dangerous road and it soon became a habit. Josh had a secret, selfish life that amounted to betrayal of his bride and children.

How to Be a Dad Who Considers the ConsequencesThis year, his secrets came out and the things he values most are forever changed. He lost his job and his marriage is in serious trouble. Josh’s wife says she can never trust him again. His children are trying to understand, but there’s a lot to repair.

Now, I didn’t mention specifically what Josh did. Maybe you can guess, and maybe you’d be right—maybe you wouldn’t. I’m not concerned with the specifics of his mistakes today.

I’m thinking more about you

Do you have any secrets that would radically change your life if they came out? Do you have habits or relationships that are inappropriate? Have you made compromises in what you know is right? Consider this your year-end integrity check.

Thankfully, Josh is taking the right approach. He’s meeting regularly with other men who challenge him, encourage him, and hold him accountable as he makes his way back to a responsible life. In his desperation, those friendships and his faith have become his lifeblood—helping him to simply make it through the day.

It took a crisis for Josh to come to his senses. I don’t know most of you reading this, and I don’t know if you’re anything like Josh. I don’t know what your specific challenges and issues might be. But I hope you’ll heed this gentle reminder.

If there’s a part of your life that’s out of whack—whether it’s dishonesty in your job, maybe an affair, irresponsible spending habits, or something else … please do something now to change your course.

Meet with other men to help you and hold you accountable. If you don’t know where to go from there, talk to an older dad whom you trust. He can help you through questions like that.

But make sure you start next year with a positive resolve to truly be the husband and father your family members need.

ACTION POINTS for Dads on the Journey

- What does your “year-end reflecting” tell you about ways you could improve as a dad? Give it serious consideration, and ask your wife or someone else close to you for feedback.

- Are you in regular contact with another dad whom you can talk to about anything and who can ask you hard questions? If not, reach out and seek to create that kind of relationship with another dad.

- Do you have a teenage son? Give him permission to ask you anything—and you do the same with him.

- “If you aren’t moving forward, you’re going backward.” Starting now, do something every day to grow in an area of weakness or vulnerability.

We want to hear from you. Do you have an accountable relationship with another dad? Please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.


Carey CaseyCarey 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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  1. Look away. The instant a pretty woman walks by, or a coworker acts even remotely interested, “look away” – redirect the circumstances. It’s important to stay on course to a solid committed marriage so you, your wife, your children, and society are edified in the long run. Damages can be repaired, however, they take time and greater efforts to overcome them. Look away. Look towards higher goals.

  2. Great post, Sir. Thanks for sharing this at the end of 2012. I passed along to half a dozen of my fellow father buddies.

  3. Thank you for your encouragment. Some decisions that have helped me include, daily reading the Bible, daily prayer ( asking for guidance, listening for direction), hanging around other positive fathers and attending Celebrate Recovery church. Mainly making a conscious decision to grow up and be a responsible husband & father.

  4. DADS Academy thanks you for your work. The acronym DADS stands for DECISIONS, AVAILIBILITY, DEVELOPMENT, and SERVICE. I think we all can learn from “Josh’s” story. Looking forward to working together to build up fathers in 2013. May God richly, bless you.


  5. Nothing can tick me off more than reading an article blaming men/fathers for everything that goes wrong in the world. As a divorce father, I have been involved with Fathers For Equal Rights for over twenty years. We, in turn, have been fighting the Family Court System for our innate right to be a father of our precious children’s upbringing. What we have ran across, was totally unthinkable just few years back. We are facing a corrupt system bend on pushing good, caring fathers from the lives of our beloved children. The mother and the system used all array of “tools” to do their dirty work. One of them is “False Allegations”, perhaps the best “tool” they have to distant the father from their precious children. Within a period of ten years, I was accused of every evil deed under the sun. It cost me a small fortune but I was able to prove my innocence without any doubt. Even the DCF sent me a letter apologizing for “putting me through the nightmare”. I was then advice by the DA to file chargers against that woman, but I didn’t want my child to suffer any further. In conclusion, the bad reputation of men/fathers, created by women groups and the legal community, has got to stop. They are well aware that this unfair treatment only HURTS the children immensely but couldn’t care less. The “best interest of the child” are nothing but a lie. How could this take place in the good old U.S. A, is nothing but a shame.

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