An encouraging and thought-provoking book, winner of the Silver Medallion Book Award, that gives ten ideas about how a father can make the biggest, most lasting, and most important contributions to his children's lives.
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Patrick Morley (www.maninthemirror.org) is a business leader, speaker, and the best-selling author of twelve books, including The Man in the Mirror, Ten Secrets for the Man in the Mirror, The Seven Seasons of the Man in the Mirror, and Devotions for the Man in the Mirror. He lives with his wife in Orlando, Florida.
Patrick Morley es un lÃder de negocios, orador, escritor de varios libros, entre los que se encuentra El hombre frente al espejo, y uno de los pioneros del movimiento de hombres cristianos. Vive con su esposa, Patsy, en Orlando, Florida.
The Dad in the Mirror
Copyright © 2003 Patrick Morley and David Delk
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“Why another book on fathering?”
That was the question that immediately came to mind when we
decided to write this book. And it deserves an answer.
The short answer is this: This book will show you how to move
from “fathering for performance” to “fathering the heart.” But what
do we mean by “fathering the heart”? And why is it so important?
Even the dullest observer, taking only a cursory look at the statistics,
can see that the state of the family is getting worse, not better.
So what’s the problem? Is it because children are tearing their
families apart? Sometimes, but it’s the exception. Is it because mothers
are abandoning their children? Every now and then you hear a
sensational story like this, but only rarely. Who, then, is most
responsible for this crisis? Could it be that fathers are not equipped
to hold their families together?
We think it’s about the dads.
Don’t get us wrong. Most dads want to do the right thing—
they just don’t know what it is or how to go about doing it. So they
do the best they can to control behavior, keep peace, urge better
grades, keep “Mom” happy, and get through it. In short, they
“father for performance.” Because most of us know only the
“fathering for performance” model, untold numbers of dads (who
really want to do the right thing) are instead alienating yet another
generation of kids. They pass on the sins of their fathers, repeating
rather than breaking the cycle.
This book will show you how to build a gospel-based parenting
system to “father the hearts” of your children. So what’s our
answer to the question? We do need another book on fathering, a
book about fathering the hearts of your children to help you break
the cycle of fathering for performance.
We have a second, more personal, reason for writing this book.
When a dad who grew up in a dysfunctional home breaks with the
past, he sets an entire family on a new course for many generations.
Does this sound like an overstatement?
Actually, we both know from experience the power of a dad who
breaks the cycle and fathers the heart. We know, because both of
our fathers broke the cycle for us, for our children, and for our children’s
When my dad, Bob, was just two years old, his father abandoned
the family. To make ends meet, my dad’s oldest brother,
Harry, went to work on a bread truck before school, at the butcher
shop after school, and at the filling station on weekends—at the age
When my dad turned six, he, too, went to work, helping out on
the bread truck and delivering papers. The brothers got up at 3:00
A.M. every day and had a permanent tardy slip for school.
My dad’s mother, Mae, suffered a stroke. The family soon lost its
small farm and moved into town to live with two of Mae’s sisters.
Together these women reared my dad and his three siblings. And
they did a great job! God gave these women grace, and God himself
became my dad’s dad. God said he would be “a
father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5).
My dad never knew the warmth of a
father’s embrace, never felt the scratch of his
dad’s whiskers, never overheard his dad
whistling or singing while he worked, never
smelled his work clothes, never heard him
joke around or read a bedtime story, never
heard him say “I love you, son” or “I’m proud
of you, son,” never received a father’s approval
or guidance, and had to guess at what it meant
to be a father to me.
My dad passed away last year. Dad never
wanted his legacy counted in money or
achievements. He had one mission in life: to
break the cycle. By his determination and sacrifice,
my dad was determined to give my
three brothers and me what he missed.
I have many fond memories. My dad
loved me. My dad invested in my life. He gave
me his time. He attended my games. He took me to work with him.
We shared chores on the five acres where we lived. My dad taught
me what it meant to be a man—how to live with integrity, how to
practice a strong work ethic, and how to treat a woman. I am what
I am today because my dad refused to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Like every man who misses out on having a good father, my dad
had to decide if he would repeat the sins of his father or break the
cycle. By God’s grace, my dad chose to become a real man. My dad
became the man he was in spite of his father, while I am who I am
largely because of my father.
Chapter 1: Why Another Book on Fathering?
As I’ve considered Dad’s life and the odds against him, I have,
by God’s grace, come to understand something important. While
you measure the success and legacy of some men by how far they
go, you grasp the secret to my dad’s success and legacy only by seeing
how far he came.
But all was not perfect in paradise. The problem was that Dad
didn’t know what a “normal” father looked like. He knew what he
didn’t want to be like, but he had no mental image of what he did
want to be like. So he had to, in the words of dysfunctional family
systems expert Janet Woititz, “guess at what normal behavior is.”1
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Book Description Zondervan, 2005. Mass-market paperback. Book Condition: New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 224 p. Bookseller Inventory # Alibris_0001138
Book Description Zondervan, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0310267749
Book Description Zondervan, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110310267749