Even if you didn't grow up with a dad, you can still become a successful one yourself
Aleteia posed six questions to Dr. Greg Popcak about his latest book, The Be-DAD-itudes: 8 Ways to Be an Awesome Dad, published by Ave Maria Press. The book presents the Beatitudes as an ideal guide to help fathers become the great dads they’re meant to be.
1) What inspired the book?
At a time when more is being required from fathers than ever, fathers are more likely than ever to be confused about their role; either because they grew up without a dad, or because the vision of Christian fatherhood is so different than the vision many of us were raised with. Lately, Pope Francis has focused more attention on the Beatitudes, and in reflecting on his comments, I realized that the Beatitudes are a wonderful description of the ways God the Father relates to us, and present a wonderful template for being a father after God’s own heart.
2) If you could give this book another title, what would it be?
A Father After God’s Own Heart
3) What story or parts of this book most personally resonated with you?
The sections on being “poor in spirit.” Most dads really feel like we have to be omniscient and we’re painfully aware that more often than not, we have no idea what we’re doing. We allow our expectations of perfection to clash with the knowledge of our limitations. Cultivating poverty of spirit means learning that it’s OK to not have all the answers, that the most important thing dads can do is listen; to God, our kids, our spouse. The more we listen, the more we learn to respond to our spouse and children in ways that allow us to create the family God wants us to be.
4) Did writing this book teach you anything?
The importance of going back to the basics. We’ve all heard the Beatitudes a million times. But writing this book cracked open a whole new level of meaning and wisdom for me. I discovered them all over again from the perspective of what they have to teach us about being the kind of father God wants for his children.
5) If there is one person you want to reach with this book, who would that be?
This book is for any dad who wants to make a real difference in the lives of his wife and children and wants to create the kind of family that witnesses to the difference God’s grace can make in our lives and in our homes.
6) What is the ideal beverage to have in hand while reading your book?
Maybe a mug of hot chocolate, making s’mores by a campfire with your kids. This is a book about creating those kind of heart-to-heart moments that dads are great at.