Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

The Unique and Important Role of Fathers

Dads are designed by God to be different than mothers. In Aeon, Anna Machin explains the unique and important role of human fathers. For starters, Machin argues, fathers are designed to relate to their children through what she calls “highly physical [play] with lots of throwing up in the air, jumping about and tickling, accompanied by loud shouts and laughter. Of course fathers also cuddle, but this fatherly play has two benefits:

First, its exuberant nature allows dads to build a bond with their children quickly using hits of neurochemicals required for a robust bond. Second, due to the riskiness of the play, it begins to teach the child about the give and take of relationships. Even from a very young age fathers are teaching their children crucial life lessons.

Why do kids need this dad rough-and-tumble play and not just a good cuddle? Machin says,

Because analysis has shown that fathers and children get their peaks in oxytocin, indicating increased reward, from playing together. The correspond­ing peak for mothers and babies is when they are being affectionate. In contrast, a father’s attachment to his child has elements of affection and care, but it is based on challenge. A father turns his children’s faces outward, encouraging them to build relationships, succeed in the world, and developing a child’s sense of worth.

She concludes by saying that we need to change our cultural conversation about fathers. Some fathers are absent or inept, but Machin argues,

But the majority of fathers are not these people. We need to discuss the dads who stick around for their children. Who coach football, read bedtime stories, locate missing school socks, and scare away the night-time monsters. Who encourage their children’s mental resilience, and train them to enter our increasingly complex social world.

Anna Machin, “The Marvel Of The Human Dad,” Aeon (1-18-19)

Related Sermon Illustrations

The Gift of a Good Father

Mitch Albom, the author of the international best-seller Tuesdays with Morrie, wrote a short article for Father's Day titled "When did fathers become expendable?" Albom described what ...

[Read More]

Elton John's Search for His Father's Love

In an interview with Rolling Stone, singer Elton John reflected on his father: "They wouldn't hold you, they wouldn't say they loved you. I was afraid of my father. I was walking on ...

[Read More]