The Ideal Father

Depictions of Fathers

There have been many different depictions of fathers in literature, movies, and television programs. Sometimes these depictions are basic ideals, while others explore more depth in the interaction between fathers and children. These kinds of stories and figures can sometimes influence one’s image of what an ideal father is supposed to be. This is especially true when examined through the eyes of childhood.

Consider what you might have believed to have been the ideal father in younger years. Was the ideal a rugged and tough man able to take on any challenge, such as a John Wayne type of individual? Or was the ideal a father ready to listen and care for your problems personally with the utmost care, such as an Andy Griffith type of individual? For some it would be the “fun” dad, for others the “strong” dad.

Outside Reality

The ideals are varied, and can be fulfilled by no one in reality. However, many children may develop such an unrealistic expectation of fathers, and many men may attempt to emulate such ideals. Such ideas are that very thing: ideals. While these images from American culture may give a glimpse into what we would want for our own fathers, or maybe to be as fathers, there is much more important ideal to follow.

The True Ideal

Long before the medium of television, motion pictures, and any works of literature, be they classic or modern, the ideal father existed. This father epitomizes the greatest qualities of fatherhood: He is gracious, merciful, kind, and infinitely sacrificial. He is also strict, a strong disciplinarian, and intolerant of rebellion and misbehavior. He is, of course, the One true Father – our Father in heaven (Mat. 23:9).

There are many good ideals to be taken from characters who are fathers, but if you want to have the ideal father, or to be like the ideal father, this ideal must come from the Father of all. Remember that such a goal is an ideal, and no man can be so perfect. But such a father who strives to be like the ideal Father will be a great blessing to any child, just as we are blessed to be His children.

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