December 17, 2009

Hard Fathers, Soft Sons

The father who has a son like this—a son who shames him—must do more than just experience the shame. He must own it. That means that he needs to see how he contributed to the creation of something that appears to be very much unlike him. But this is just a surface appearance. All these years, the father was being hard, not because this was the way he had to be in order to serve his family. He was hard because he wanted to be, because he simply wanted to suit himself. Instead of seeing the trivial differences between himself and his son (e.g. what time they get up in the morning), he needs to learn to see the deep similarities. He has been hard because he wanted to suit himself. And his son has learned the lesson well—not the one about hardness, but the one about the importance of suiting yourself.

—Doug Wilson, Hard Fathers, Soft Sons

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