How many times have you heard a wife say to her husband “Honey, can you babysit while I go out?”. I have even caught myself saying it to Clay before before realizing how dangerous those words are. Dad’s don’t babysit, they PARENT. Though the idea of asking a dad to babysit may seem harmless, it has more depth than what it may appear. The danger in these words lie in the connotation that dad’s don’t have what it takes to watch a child and care for them full time. Babysitting is a term we use to refer to a person who has temporary care for a child. Asking a husband to ‘babysit’ takes away the permanence in their son or daughters life, and makes the idea of parenting part-time rather than a full time role. Just because dad’s spend on average less time with their children than mom’s doesn’t mean we discredit their half of the parent relationship.
Discrediting fatherhood is a deadly trap in which our society has fallen prey. On television and movies dad’s are shown as complete idiots, usually portrayed as entirely clueless. Are dads shown that way because they are that way? Certainly some father’s lack the wisdom to raise a child to the best of their ability, however that ‘idiot’ mindset is not how all father’s are. As Christians wives are called to respect their husbands, just as husbands are called to become heads of house and adequate fathers. It is important that Christian wives respect their husband by encouraging them as a full time parent, not merely as a babysitter.
Ephesians 6:4 calls Father’s to “Bring them (children) up in the training and instruction of the Lord”. Dad’s have a huge role in the upbringing of their children. They are not merely ‘breadwinners’, they are an integral part of the family unit. Though father’s were not given the gift to carry and bare children does not mean that God intended on giving them a lesser part in the lives of their children. Both mom’s and dad’s hold equal value in the roles they were created for and it is so important we remember that.