• Dimensions of Fatherhood

Posted by: kidhelper on Sunday, June 22nd, 2008


Barnette (Barney) Jackson Kinard (me at 18)

Recently, I was contemplating my ongoing ever-changing role of Fatherhood. It has caused me to consider that Fatherhood is one of my most treasured life experiences. However, as I think about it there are six dimensions to fatherhood that I have experienced so far, but I still have another one to go. Maybe, we could say that Fatherhood is like a gem stone, which requires a multifaceted look in order to be the finest quality. So I began to ponder the implications.

Maybe this will help you understand what I mean…


Barnette Jackson Kinard (my grandfather at 18)

The first dimension to Fatherhood has to do with my family tree. When I was born there were already two missing grandfathers in my life. So I never really enjoyed the love and support of these men growing up. However, I did have a godly grandmother who we called “Big Mama,” not because she was big, on the contrary she was quite small in stature, but rather because she had a large family. Her husband, my namesake grandfather, was also a godly man and the father of eight children. Unfortunately, he passed early, when my Dad was just eight. So my grandfather had been gone a long time before I arrived.


John Rembert Kinard (Bert) (my father at 18)

The second dimension of Fatherhood, and the most obvious, relates to my own father. I have a life full of memories about my own Dad. John Rembert (Bert) Kinard, who was a career Naval Officer, a veteran of the Second World War, Pearl Harbor and the Korean War. Little did I understand how growing up, being the oldest of five children and following my father’s career, would impact my life choices so much. But my love for traveling, moving, packing, visiting new places and being so open to new people really came from my Dad. There were many qualities that I admired about my Dad. However, just one was lacking. His spiritual leadership in my life. My father was not really a significant part of my spiritual life. He did support my spiritual pilgrimage, but had little to do with guiding or nurturing it. That was left to neighbors, friends, the church, five Bible schools, books and others of influence in my life.


Kinard family: Karina, Ken, Kevin, Kristen, Barney & Sharon

The third dimension of Fatherhood has to do with my being the father of our four children. As a senior in high school, I was called into the ministry. After five years of college, I married “up” by marrying the woman of my prayers. So prior to the coming of our four children, I had a steel resolve to be a better father spiritually than my Dad. As an evangelist, I decided to curtail my invitations to speak and to travel to “far away places” for the sake of my children. We decided that “being there” for our kids was a priority during their formative years. So any evangelistic campaign that would take me away from home longer than a week was extremely rare. Having four children has enriched the quality of my life. The memories of the tender years of living with our children have been meaningful now, but sweeter as years have passed. I have written about these experiences and have posted them on Kidology in the Father’s Day Zone. Further, I have included some of these articles in the Kidology Coaching Program. Being a father has radically changed my life and I am a better man for having children. They are each special to me. They continue to enrich and bless my life. Hopefully, I have been a blessing to them. Many noteworthy Father’s Days have come and gone, but of course, there is no Father’s Day, without my dear wife.


Karina’s family, Michael, Cheryl and Matthew


Ken’s family, Jennifer, Tennyson, Benjamin, and Spencer


Kevin’s Family, Sarah and Madison (Taylor will be here in July)

The fourth dimension of Fatherhood involves the coming of my grandchildren. This definitely “raised the bar” of fatherhood. Grandparenting is far different than parenting, although there are a few notable similarities. When the babies started coming, there was quite a lot of discussion about what I would be called. “I do not really care,” I said. But then it happened! Benjamin, who was about 18 months, without any coaching, he just called me “Papa.” I just melted inside. My new role in fatherhood was born, being a grandfather. This enhancement is really like the advanced-degree program for fatherhood. You don’t go to school for this, you kind of learn, as you go. This, relatively new role, is definitely built upon my past fathering experiences. For me, grand parenting has taken “influence” to a new level. When I hear, “I love you Papa,” I just am so blessed. You know, I believe it too. It is such pure love, nothing less. I love it. Number seven will be here in July, another girl.


The fifth dimension of my Fatherhood role has to do with the missing generation of fathers with the mates of my children. Our first three children each married spouses with missing fathers, by that I mean, their fathers had passed before the time they married. Further, our youngest is currently dating a young man whose father is still alive, but the relationship has been much strained with the years. My role of “father” in the family has intensified for me. Ironically, my wife’s father had passed, shortly after we got married. Since my father has passed, I am the “father figure” for all the family now. It seems even more important for these mates that I am a solid and credible father. Although, I cannot think of replacing these missing dads, I have been aware that I am really about winning the love and respect of these mates in a more deliberate way. I must admit it has been a challenge for me. It takes a lot of time to build this level of trust. But this Father’s Day I can see some measure of progress, judging by the language of affirmation and love they show me. Somehow, their “kisses and hugs” means more to me now and I seem to mean more to them. We are growing on each other with honor and respect. I do appreciate and love each one of them.

The sixth dimension of Fatherhood I have not experienced yet, which would be the role of great grandfather. This has to be special, a dimension for the many years to come, should I live so long to enjoy it. All of these dimensions of fatherhood have been special, but I can only imagine what being a great grandparent would be like. I pray that I should live so long to know about it.

The seventh dimension of Fatherhood is how God is like a Father to me. Is has been by virtue of my relationship with His son Jesus that I am part of His forever family and enjoy all the rights and privileges of being part of the family of God. I know that God, as my Father, loves me and has a relationship with me as one of His children. I am to trust Him for protection, provision, and direction for my life. My Heavenly Father has sent me out and I am assured that He will take care of me. I am still learning about my Heavenly Father. I feel I have so much more to learn about this relationship. I desire to know Him better as the years go by. I am treasuring His “fatherly” example in all of these dimensions of Fatherhood.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Leave a Comment