>Fatherhood is… part 2

>Fatherhood is generative.

Generative is a term that was coined in a study by Dollahite, Hawkins, and Brotherson (1997) (1) in their research to develop a strengths- and responsibility-based framework for fathering.  Basically, “generative” means being concerned for developing the next generation through effective fathering. Here are some of the key points from this framework:

  • Relationship work (working to create a healthy relationship)
  • Stewardship work (providing for the physical needs and safety of children)
  • Development work (changing to meet changing needs)
  • Ethical work (teaching children values and helping them to relate with others in moral ways)
  • Spiritual work (working to help child obtain purpose and joy)
  • Recreation work (helping children relax and have fun)
  • Mentoring work (Helping older children learn skills to be a successful parent) (2)

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 illustrates the biblical mandate to be generative as parents.  Fathers in particular have a responsibility to build the next generation.  According to Ken Canfield in They Call Me Dad (2005) (3), fathers are the “ancient paths” mentioned in Jeremiah 6:16 that children are to look to.  The state of fatherhood will have to change significantly to see generative work become a priority and a reality.

1. http://fatherwork.byu.edu/generativeFramework.htm
2. http://fatherwork.byu.edu/generativeDefined.htm
3. Ken Canfield, They Call Me Dad, Howard Publishing Company, 2005


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