Inspiring Fatherhood

By Jim Wallis 6-15-2009

More than the primaries, general election, board meetings, or the budget fight on Capitol Hill, this past week was a high-intensity roller coaster for me. It was Little League playoffs. The Astros, my older son Luke's team, which I coach, won two cliff-hanger playoff games, 4-3 and 7-6. We finally won the final game on Saturday, making Luke and his buddies the 2009 D.C. Northwest Little League Champions! And now I get to relax a little bit!

As the father of two young boys, Luke (age 10) and Jack (age 6), I know the great joys and real challenges of being a dad. As most of you know, Father's Day is coming up soon on Sunday, June 21. Much like I did with regard to the president's speech in Cairo, I invited some of our regular blog contributors and guests to write about fatherhood.

There is a lot on our president's plate right now, but I believe one of the most important roles he will play is that of "First Father." The presence of a father with young children in the White House is a powerful image for a nation that sorely needs role models. Much of the national talk about family values and the role of fathers, for better and for worse, has come from the conservative side of the political spectrum. But a Democratic president and political progressive with a primary focus on fatherhood and strengthening families could change that and turn this issue into a broad and bipartisan commitment.

As a member of the President's Council of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, I sit on a committee whose focus is fatherhood and healthy families. Through this work I recently met the dynamic and inspiring Roland Warren, president of National Fatherhood Initiative. National Fatherhood Initiative has great resources available on its Web site.

Throughout the week we will be hearing from a variety of people, some fathers and some not, reflecting on the crucial role dads fill in church and society. Up next is a blog post from Roland to kick off this week's focus on dads. I know we will get a broad range of perspectives and experiences on this topic, and I look forward to reading them.

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