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As Father’s Day draws near, one pastor gave a warning to American fathers about the types of lies they may be believing. Pastor Jesse Bradley of Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington spoke to Fox News about “three damaging lies” he believes American fathers are buying into today. He said that what makes them so dangerous is that they are sneaky and hard to identify at times. But, once they are spotted, fathers can be empowered to fight against them.

The first lie Bradley warned against was the belief that someone can’t be a good dad, especially if they are coming from an abusive or absent father. But Bradley said God can overcome that. “God is a healer and close to the brokenhearted. God is a Father to the fatherless. You have a heavenly Father who is always faithful and good – so receive His love that endures forever.” Absent fathers and fatherlessness have become a real epidemic of America. One Department of Justice study found that 75% of adolescent patients residing in substance abuse centers were living in fatherless homes. Thankfully, Bradley said that men can learn from other fathers, not just the ones who have abandoned or neglected them. “God will bring other men into your life whom you can learn from and who will fill some of the ‘dad void’ you may have endured. Your past experiences in life don’t define you.”

The second lie Bradley warned against was that “it’s fine to be an independent dad.” Bradley asserted that “we are not made for isolation. We all need God and other people.” He warned against men seeking refuge in their hobbies or their work in order to avoid the messiness of relationships. “No dad wants the legacy of being distant,” Bradley warned. “Relationships may be messy at times – but they’re worth the investment. Connecting with family bears much fruit.” One study found that kids who spent more time with their dads had higher IQs and better self-esteem.

The final lie Bradley highlighted was the lie that “being a father is not that important.” “Enjoy your kids and connect with them daily. Listen to their fears, find activities that are meaningful, give them wise advice, make memories together, read the Bible, open up your heart, be at their games, go on trips, pray with them – and try out your best dad jokes,” Bradley said. “Don’t give your best at work and just bring ‘leftovers’ home.” A New York Times article found that during the pandemic, fathers were spending more time at home as more jobs became remote. It also found that most of those fathers wanted to keep that extra family time, even if it meant taking on more household chores at the same time. Bradley pointed to God as the key help in being a dad. “God is with you every step,” he said. “And the truth is that being grateful and intentional as a dad leads to the profound joys of fatherhood.”

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