When you hear about an unplanned pregnancy, many first think of the mother-to-be and how best to support her and her child.
In our eagerness to help, it’s all too easy to forget about the father-to-be and his need for support as he steps into his new role.
That’s why Carolina Pregnancy Center’s relatively new Dad-to-Dad program is making an impact that can serve as a model for pregnancy centers all over the country.
The role of a father is to serve as the protective, spiritual leader of his family who imparts the wisdom of Christ onto his children.
When the gift of a child is unplanned, it is a difficult but necessary step for a man to don the responsibilities of a father – which is why Carolina Pregnancy Center is preparing men on how to serve their families spiritually and emotionally.
Founded in 2016, the Dad-to-Dad program is a result of the Carolina Pregnancy Center’s partnership with Jonathan Bright’s Faith for Fathers outreach.
The mission of the Faith for Fathers program is to encourage fathers to build a Godly legacy with their children through events such as monthly luncheons and family devotions.
The executive director of the Carolina Pregnancy Center, Alexia Newman, saw a common cause between what she and Bright were doing, and requested Bright’s help in reaching the boyfriends and husbands of the pregnant women who came to the center.
“We just saw a natural coalition, a natural way to work together — he was working with men already,” Newman said of the partnership she formed with Bright.
“He had men that could be mentors to our guys.”
With all the men he had helped become Godly fathers over the years, Bright knew the partnership with the pregnancy center was the perfect way to expand his ministry and encourage men to devote themselves to their pregnant wives or girlfriends.
“The guys that we deal with at the pregnancy center typically aren’t going to be the kind of guy that’s going to go bring his daughter or son to an event or show up at a luncheon just for dads to learn how to be a better dad,” Bright said.
“We saw it as a way to expand our outreach.”
Fostering communication with the men who bring their wives or girlfriends to the pregnancy center, the volunteers obtain the man’s contact information in order to put them in touch with Bright.
This innovative new program offers one-on-one mentoring, a group meeting on Wednesday nights, and the ability to earn “Daddy Dollars” through the center’s Earn-While-You-Learn store.
The Daddy Dollars are earned if a man participates in Wednesday night group meetings, attends worship services, or sends a selfie back to the center of him spending quality time with his wife and kids.
As a special treat, the men are given a Valentine’s Day gift card to take his wife or girlfriend to the movies or dinner to help foster devotion in one another on such a romantic day.
The partnership between the two groups strives to make a difference in the lives of men and their children by impressing upon men the duty they have to teach their kids vital lessons. A child needs the presence of a father in their life, but sons and daughters need a father in different ways.
While every child has the love of their Heavenly Father, the duties of their earthly father involve instilling values in their children to help their sons and daughters grow to be moral men and women who may go on to serve families of their own.
A son needs a father to show him how a man behaves and how he provides for his family, and a daughter needs her father to teach her what she can expect from a man and how to build confidence in herself.
Speaking on how God inspires men to become leaders of their families, Bright recalled the story of a man named “Mike” who had no desire to answer to anyone and had never been taught that every man must answer to some form of authority.
But that all began to change for Mike when his girlfriend “Melissa” heard about the Dad-to-Dad program and recommended he try it for the sake of their child.
The change was not instantaneous, as is often the case when God’s plan takes time to reveal itself. And at first, Mike was aloof and quiet at the Wednesday meetings.
But determined to build a relationship with him, Bright took the time to establish trust and even met with Mike one-on-one to help motivate him.
Bright helped Mike see that the imperfect nature of his worldly coworkers and bosses should not deter him from remaining faithful to the tasks before him. Encouraging him to make a reliable employee of himself, Bright helped Mike realize the crucial role he played in supporting his family.
At the next meeting, God revealed his plan for Mike when he attended the next meeting with a clean haircut and wonderful news. He would be starting a new job with a manufacturing company, a job he would hold for two years before going on to accept a supervisor position.
His experience with the program and the profound way God touched his life led Mike to reach out to other men through the Dad-to-Dad group.
A man by the name of “Joe” came through the program struggling with joblessness and was living in a hotel with his pregnant girlfriend, but Mike was there to mentor him and offer him a position at his company.
A man bearing the title of “father” has certain duties to his children, as he is both a provider and a mentor to the children he has here on earth, and the Dad-to-Dad program is changing fathers lives for the better.
Pray that God’s plan will reveal itself to those feeling doubtful about their capabilities as a father, and that they will find the right outreach program to teach them how to support their families.
And pray that word of the Dad-to-Dad program spreads to pregnancy centers across the nation, impacting countless new lives by helping fathers-to-be become who God wants them to be.