I was walking through the mall and noticed a man with a young boy . His t-shirt caught my attention: “My #1 job is to be a great dad!” At first I thought, “That’s a fantastic desire!” But then I started thinking, “Is this really what a man’s number one job should be?”
First, I thought about it in conjunction with Scripture. The first thing God did with people in the garden was to have a wedding. Then we don’t really see anything about parenting until we get to Cain and Abel. That was a mess! Then came Noah--that too did not have the best of outcomes as far as a parent-child relationship is concerned. How about King David and his progeny? We can go on and on about so many examples of parent-child relationship run-a-muck. Why? Because the parent-child relationship is not the core of the family; it is the husband-wife relationship that is of the utmost importance.
In fact, the demise of a family is often when one or the other parent walls off in the marriage relationship in order to focus on parenting.
Study after study makes it clear that children are better off with a mother and a father in a marriage relationship. Please take note of the following statement: Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to be physically or sexually abused, less likely to use drugs or alcohol and to commit delinquent behaviors, have a decreased risk of divorcing when they get married, are less likely to become pregnant/impregnate someone as a teenager, and are less likely to be raised in poverty. ("Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences," Bradford Wilcox, Institute for American Values.)
So, if the dad in the t-shirt really wanted to be the “best dad” his shirt should have said, “My goal is to be a great dad, so I will commit to love my wife and his mother as my number one priority!” OK, that is a bit wordy, but I believe you get the idea. In fact, maybe you can come up with better wording! Share your ideas on our Facebook page—we would love to see them!
Here’s to happy parenting through better marriages!