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There’s Fatherhood, and There’s Fatherhood

Most of us who hang around this blog aspire to read the Fathers with some kind of discipline.

The truly foolhardy males, like Stephen Gabriel, want to do more. They want To Be a Father. That’s the title of Steve’s new book on fatherhood. His first book, A Father’s Covenant, had a profound influence on my own parenting. It’s a deceptively simple book, made up, according to the subtitle, of “Promises That Will Transform You, Your Marriage, And Your Family.” One line that I’ve spent ten years pondering — and trying to live out — is Gabriel’s heartfelt pledge: “I will play Chutes and Ladders with enthusiasm.” There are metric tons of supernatural freight in that line.

Anyone who has read my book The Fathers of the Church knows that my own interest in the Fathers grew out of my desire to understand the meaning of my vocation to fatherhood — and my desire to understand the role of my dad in my life. The Fathers are true fathers (as I demonstrate in that book), and they can be good models for parenting in difficult times.

So can Stephen Gabriel. If you’re a dad, I hope you’ll read the book. If you know a dad — or an aspiring dad — I hope you’ll buy him a copy of To Be a Father: 200 Promises That Will Transform You, Your Marriage, And Your Family.