Manliness

Wanna Be A Better Dad and/or Person? Two Tips

by admin

In my journey towards being a better Dad and a better person, one battle I have fought is figuring out how to squeeze in time for personal development.  When I look hard at how I spend my day, I recognize that huge swaths of it are wasted, from a lack of self-discipline.  But then the question is, how do I become more self-disciplined, so I can achieve those two goals?

PS.  If you’re new here and you like what you read, you can subscribe to the blog with an RSS reader, or for even more fun, go like our Facebook page!  I drop little tidbits and tips on there more regularly than even here (but I save my long form goodness for this page!)

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On Marrying Young

by admin

A friend of mine, a young lady who is just entering into marriage, shared with her friends an article containing 5 reasons why one guy got married before age 23.    The piece is pretty love-oriented, and it’s not wrong, but I don’t know if it deals fully with all the reasons why people put off marriage today.  I do think it nails the biggest one: fear.  Fear of missing out on “single life”.  Fear of making the wrong decision.  So many fears.Scared Kirk

Full disclosure: my parents married young – they were 19 when they married.  They are still married.  My aunts and uncles all married young – I think the oldest to get married was my Dad’s twin brother who won a bet by making it to 30.  The rest all married in their late teens or young twenties.  All are still married.  Of my cousins close in age to me, half married in their early twenties.  No divorces.  So my experience is that there is no relationship between marrying early and marital happiness, or likelihood of divorce.  I think it has much more to do with expectations.

Scared PsychoBut I want to focus on fear in this post.  Do you worry that you might choose wrong if you are young?  That you might not know yourself or what you want?  That you haven’t “lived” yet?  That you are young and broke, won’t have the money for college, won’t be able to provide?

I’ll start with a caveat.  I am a Bible-believing Christian, and I do take seriously the fact that God is clear in His word that a man should be prepared to provide for his family (1 Timothy 5:8).  That said, I am equally convinced that nowhere does the Bible say that everyone needs to start marriage debt free, owning a nice house and car, and with a substantial RRSP in place.  These are ridiculous expectations that people use to disguise their fear as wisdom, and keep themselves from blessing (Proverbs 18:22).

I plan to raise my sons to prepare for marriage young.  Not because I am old fashioned, but for other reasons.  But the biggest one is for them not to fear.  My experience has been that there should be no fear to marrying young.  Caution, yes, but not fear.  Let me tell you my experience. Read the rest of this entry »


Leftovers: Friend or Foe?

by admin

So I set out to make lunch for my preschool aged twins and I (the rest are at school).  The first stop was the fridge – what’s there for leftovers?  I discovered enough mac and cheese for the little guys, but not enough for me.  What to do?

Of the leftovers I saw the two that stood out to me were spaghetti noodles from the weekend and about 8 oz of roast beef from last night.  I first pondered making a coconut curry sauce and using the chipped beef, but that seemed a little weird.  Then I remembered this thing called beef stroganoff.  A creamy alfredo type sauce with beef and mushrooms usually.

I tried googling some recipes but ended up winging it.  Here’s what I did:

  • Creamy chipped beef on noodles8 oz cooked roast beef, chipped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup leftover beef gravy
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp flaked dried onions
  • a shot of worchestershire sauce

 

Mix it all up in a pot and heat.  Serve over noodles.

Win!

 


A Little Laugh: My Youngest and I Eating Grasshoppers!

by admin

Enjoy!


My View on Fatherhood Part 2: Father of Boys

by admin

My view on fatherhood is complex.  All these different labels and situations come together like those lenses in an optometrist’s office, creating a unique focal point and outlook on the issues going on that face Dads.  In part 1 I talked about the reality of me being a stay-at-home Dad, and why I am completely cool with it despite the many voices out there calling me lazy, calling me a shirker of my responsibilities, calling me a failure for not “bringing home the bacon”.  Now, let me explain some things I hinted at, and why they figure into the picture.

2.  Parenting Boys

Stormtrooper Dad Lego SonI am the father of many boys.  I am also the father of ZERO girls.  This creates a number of unique dynamics and challenges.

On the one hand, I don’t have to worry about dramatics to the same level as many of my friends who have daughters.  This might sound sexist, but it’s the honest truth.  A few of my boys get dramatic, but the tears rarely flow for more than a second or two.

On the plus side, action movies, pirates, Star Wars, and all my favourite things I get to continue to love because I get to introduce the boys to them one by one.  And that is awesome.

On the downside, I really wanted a princess.  Mainly because after a certain point, boys stop cuddling their old man.  That point is different for every family, but I do know that little girls NEVER stop cuddling their Dad.  So I’ll miss that.

The challenge to parenting all boys though is the sheer amount of physical activity that is needed to be engaged to keep them all healthy (and keep me sane).  The noise levels for general play are quite high and my tolerance for that has gone up over time.  However, there are always those days when you have an illness or headache or something and you just… can’t … take… it… and for those days there are video games.

Being the father of boys means that I can focus on certain issues.  I can focus on teaching them what it means to be a man, to grow into manhood, and to engage properly in those things that men engage in.  Thankfully, there are lots of great ideas around the internets.  One that I have been very impressed with is the website/media empire, The Art of Manliness.  He makes Youtubevideos and blogs regularly on aspects of manliness that man, I wish I had been taught!  Just a wealth of information and I appreciate it.

But that means you won’t see a lot of advice on raising girls on here.  Sorry.  You came to the wrong Daddy Blog.

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

 


Defining Manliness: Living Under Authority

by admin

When he (Jesus) had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

(Matthew 8:5-13 ESV)

I just got home from one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  Our family vacation this year was one of great reflection and also seeing life from a profoundly different perspective.  I am still digesting everything we did and learned.  I know the kids had a good time but I don’t think they realize what a watershed this trip was.

While I was travelling I was thinking a lot about the hand that God has dealt us.  In some ways it is nontraditional.  In some ways it is very traditional.  At least, it could be.  And that is what I am unpacking.

Being the father of 6 boys, I have been wrestling for year with how to teach them what it means to be a man – but not just a man, a mature man, a man who is everything that God wants Him to be.  In many ways I have let them down in modelling this for them, but I am trying very hard to change.

The picture of manliness offered by the world is a picture of independence.  It is a picture of freedom, to do what you want, when you want.  It is a picture that really, at its core holds up selfishness and self-centeredness as its idol, supreme goal, and ultimate end.  I have found that a lot of people speaking truth about manliness and masculinity still fall into this trap, though there are a few that realize there is something more.  This something more I think is obvious when you are a follower of God but I think it is still clear from basic human nature that manliness – true masculinity involves voluntary submission, and living under another authority.

The story I relate above is a story of faith.  It recounts the centurion, a commander in an centurionarmy, caring for one of those under his authority.  The picture of the Roman Centurion, a legionnaire, has been a picture of masculinity for millenia now.  It is recognized and not debated.  Yet, this Centurion in the story is not just a tough man.  Not just a man capable of sending men to their deaths for a cause, for controlling and orchestrating death, for guarding and protecting.  He is also a man who cares, who sees value in the people in his care.  He has a sick servant, and he is willing to take time out of his day to personally seek out the only one who could possibly help – a strange holy man who seems to have a reputation for bringing about healing where no healing should come.  A man who claims to be sent from God.  The Son of God Himself.

The encounter the Centurion has with Jesus has most often been used with its most obvious intent – to encourage us to have faith like the Centurion – a faith Jesus had not witnessed even amongst the supposed people of God.  But the message for me, and for men seeking to understand manhood I think is clear.  This manly man, this Centurion, was a man under authority.  He didn’t resent it.  He didn’t rebell against it.  He didn’t seek a workaround.  It was a fact of his masculine being that he was a man living under authority.  Read the rest of this entry »


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