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Why American fathers need to reject '3 damaging lies' in today's culture, says pastor

Dads have key roles to play in their children's well-being and 3 lies perpetuated by society must be rejected, says pastor

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Ahead of Father's Day on June 16 this year, a faith leader on the West Coast shared "three damaging lies" he believes American dads are being told, either directly or indirectly, in today's culture — and why fathers need to reject these untruths in order to do the best job possible in raising their children.

"Many dads are hardworking, fun, kind and intelligent," said Pastor Jesse Bradley of Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington.

Yet some of the "damaging lies," he said, that are circulating today about fatherhood "are deceptive and difficult to identify. They are sneaky, strong and simple."

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Once unearthed, though, "they can be thrown away," Bradley said.

He told Fox News Digital, "Replacing lies with truth is powerful." With faith in God, "dads can be set free from the mental traps that all too easily can entangle people." 

father and son playing game together

Some of the "damaging lies" that are circulating in today's culture about fatherhood "are deceptive and difficult to identify. They are sneaky, strong and simple," said a pastor in Washington state (not pictured). They should be rejected, he said — and replaced with all-important truths.  (iStock, courtesy of user eggeeggjiew)

With just a week to go before Father's Day, he shared three lies that he believes "need to be removed from the souls of fathers" in order for dads to be the best parents they possibly can be for the well-being of their children.

Lie No. 1: 'You can't be a good dad'

Bradley said a "false message of defeat can be debilitating" for fathers. 

"It echoes with every failure and mistake … It is too heavy a burden" to carry.

"Your past experiences in life don't define you."

Men who had dads who were "absent, abusive or aloof," he said, may still carry scars from those experiences and perhaps are "unintentionally living them out in their own lives."

Bradley, himself a husband and father of four children, said, "God is a healer and close to the brokenhearted. God is a Father to the fatherless. You have a heavenly Father who is always faithful and good — so receive His love that endures forever."

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For fathers who may be struggling in their roles, he said, "God will bring other men into your life whom you can learn from and who will fill some of the ‘dad void’ you may have endured. Your past experiences in life don't define you."

father and son fishing

"The truth is, you can be the dad you never had."  (iStock, courtesy of user shironosov)

So, "let the negative pieces motivate you to become very different," he advised. 

"Your story is not over. The truth is, you can be the dad you never had." 

Lie No. 2: 'It's fine to be an independent dad'

Many men today are tempted or encouraged to "go solo — which initially can seem appealing," said Bradley.

"Relationships may be messy at times — but they're worth the investment."

In a chaotic culture, "independence appears to be less complicated and includes less drama. Retreating to the ‘man cave’ can give some desired shelter from the storm," he said.

The Christian pastor said the problem with this thinking is that "we are not made for isolation. We all need God and other people." 

father and small daughter

"Enjoy your kids and connect with them daily. Listen to their fears, find activities that are meaningful, give them wise advice, make memories together." (iStock)

The lie here, he said, "is that we're self-sufficient and that we can control our lives better if no one is near us or around us. We indulge in entertainment and hobbies as a refuge. Or work becomes our escape. Life becomes shallow."

In his view, it's "common in a fast-paced and challenging culture to wander from God, drift from your spouse, have too much distance from your children — and not have many close friends."

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Said Bradley, "No dad wants the legacy of being distant. Relationships may be messy at times — but they're worth the investment."

He added, "Connecting with family bears much fruit." 

Lie No. 3: ‘Being a father is not that important’ 

While many other people "can accomplish your job at work, replace you on your weekend men's league team or serve where you volunteer, you are the only person in the world who is the father of your children," said Bradley, addressing dads directly. 

Jesse Bradley family

Pastor Jesse Bradley, shown with this family, has a message for other fathers: "God is with you every step of the way. The truth is that being grateful and intentional as a dad leads to profound joy." (Wayne Jackson)

That special role, he said, "should be cherished and be very high up" on the priority list. 

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Said Bradley, "Enjoy your kids and connect with them daily. Listen to their fears, find activities that are meaningful, give them wise advice, make memories together, read the Bible, open up your heart, be at their games, go on trips, pray with them — and try out your best dad jokes." 

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He said the job of being a dad "is relational, intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual."

He advised other dads, "Don't give your best at work and just bring ‘leftovers’ home."

He also said, "God is with you every step. And the truth is that being grateful and intentional as a dad leads to the profound joys of fatherhood." 

Maureen Mackey is managing editor of lifestyle for Fox News Digital.

Authored by Maureen Mackey via FoxNews June 9th 2024