On this page I maintain quotes relevant to a father’s life.


The early years of life are the years when we learn how to relate.  Everyone learns important lessons that encourage or discourage relationships.  At some point, we each learn the lesson that negotiating open doors where temper tantrums fail (A Loving Home by Lee Butler Jr., 9).

Marriage is not a static state between two unchanging people.  Marriage is a psychological and spiritual journey that begins in the ecstasy of attraction, meanders through a rocky stretch of self-discovery, and culminates in the creation of an intimate, joyful, lifelong union (Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, xxvi).


Taking time to listen and talk to one another is one of the most important expressions of hospitality in home life, especially in an age when time is at a premium (Soul Feast by Marjorie Thompson, 136).

Self-help models generally fail to attend to long-term pervasive grief or the fact that remarriage and “blending” families will be the hardest job any family ever attempts.  From statistics alone, stepfamily living is a high-risk adventure (Pastoral Care with Stepfamilies by Loren Townsend, 9).

Emotional Life

The idea of will begins as soon as a child learns that it can choose to control or not control itself (Simply Sane by Gerald May, 36).

…emotions are not just a push from the rear but a pointing toward something, an impetus for forming something, a call to mold the situation…they are a language by which we interpersonally construct and build (Love and Will by Rollo May, 90).

To learn how to wait is to discover one of the precious ingredients in the spiritual unfolding of life, the foundation for the human attribute of patience (Disciplines of The Spirit by Howard Thurman, 42).


Persisting in the belief that we are growing or raising our children, we shall continue to feel separate from them.  They will remain objects for our manipulation.  We will be managing their growth process rather than participating in it (Simply Sane by Gerald May, 39).


Being afraid of children is not, in itself, much of a crime.  It is more of an indignity.  But disguising the fearful things we do to children as essential elements of their education is as good as dynamiting the foundation of the classroom.  The walls are bound to collapse, eventually, around that betrayal, and bring with them the roof.  One of the most frightening things about children, in my experience, is their intelligence.  They inevitably know more than we suspect them of knowing (Notes from No Man’s Land by Eula Biss, 53).

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him (Psalm 127:3).

Maybe they finally got the message that we had been shouting into their faces; that they live here, belong here on this planet earth and that it is theirs.  So they watch us with the eyes of poets and carpenters and musicians and scholars and other people who know who they are because they have invented themselves and know where they are going because they have envisioned it (What Moves at the Margin by Toni Morrison, 14).


Divorce subverts a family’s story from the broader cultural and multi-generational narrative, but it also creates a more personal loss.  Marital dissolution ruptures the relational context that gives continuity to how important life events are interpreted and remembered.  The family’s specific story of meaning and personal connection is lost or forever changed (Pastoral Care with Stepfamilies by Loren Townsend, 67).


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