Fatherhood class bears invaluable fruit
There was a theme at the graduation ceremony for the fathers who had successfully completed the 13-week fatherhood group held in Geneseo.
Several of the men stood at the podium after accepting their certificates and told of how they believed this group was just going to be a joke. Something they would put up with for two hours a week for 13 weeks and then laugh about with their friends.
They planned to come to the meetings and zone out while the clock mercifully moved from 6 to 8 p.m. They would enjoy the free dinner offered each night and prolong the eating as long as possible so as to shorten the actual group time. Things did not go as planned for these men.
Instead of joking about the group with their friends, they brought their friends to the next week’s group so they too could experience what they were experiencing.
Instead of zoning out and then rushing out at the end of each group, these men lost track of time-the group never ended at 8 p.m. Dinner was good but the men consumed it quickly. They wanted to get back to the group because two hours seemed too short a time to share all they wanted to share.
There arose a great catastrophe within the past 30 years. The American family became broken a devalued. From all catastrophes come the stories of hope, resilience, and redemption.
We have seen first hand what I think we all knew in the first place. Women are amazing. They can be the head of a household and run a successful family by themselves. Unfortunately, this led some men to take advantage of this knowledge. They felt this relieved them of responsibility for their children. These were the men who didn’t “man up”.
There is a group of men out there that have been invisible for too long. Pastor Reggie Cox noticed this, shined a light, and found some of these men. Now, he has begun journeying to different counties where people like Laird Gesler show him where to shine his light and people like Curt Schultz gives these men a place to meet.
The invisible men are the collateral damage of the men who have devalued family and their role as fathers. These men are trying to right the wrongs of not only their own lives, but the legacies left my men who never “manned up.”
The Fatherhood Connection is where these men learn the skills and tools they need to be fathers, partners and men. Through curriculum that covers everything from what it means to be a man to the five different love languages and how to better communicate, these men see the potential inside them come to fruition. Not one man left this experience unchanged-including those of us who simply saw ourselves as observers in the beginning.
Children not only need fathers in their lives, they hunger for their fathers. They hunger to be approved, affirmed, and celebrated by their fathers. These fathers are out there and they want to provide all of this for their children. They just need someone to come along with a light and show them the man they want to be is right below the surface and it is time to let that man out-and man up.
Please join us for our next 13-week session beginning Monday, Jan. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. at 24 Main St., Mount Morris. The group is open to all men who have any kind of fathering role in their life. Please contact Reggie Cox at 284-2445 for more information.
Steven Kirk Fugle,