In a world where the role of fathers and the cultivation of young boys’ potential often face challenges, author Cory Ward emerges as a guiding light, offering wisdom and insight to fathers seeking to raise their sons into exceptional men. With his new book, Dear Sons, author Cory Ward presents a transformative journey that combines the profound teachings of God with his own experiences, providing a blueprint for fathers to nurture their sons’ gifts, talents, and purpose.
Cory, a devoted husband, and father of two, understands the importance of instilling values and empowering young boys to become impactful contributors to society. With over 12 years of experience in education and a deep-rooted faith, Cory’s journey has led him to embrace the divine calling of fatherhood and share his invaluable insights through Dear Sons.
I chatted with Cory about his new book and the inspiration behind it.
What would you like your readers to discover through your new book?
I want my readers to discover God’s call for them to raise children in His image according to his ideas. I focus on helping boys because I used to be one and had challenges transitioning to manhood after accepting Christ. These struggles were due to needing proper guidance on what it meant to be a man. My greatest hope is that the readers, regardless of what stage of fatherhood they are in or even if they don’t have children, become ignited by God’s call to men to live Christ-centered lives.
Why do you feel it’s important for dads to be present and engaged in conversation and questioning in their sons’ lives?
I’ll start with a biblical example. The father of Strongman Sampson is named Manoah, whose name means “silent” when translated. Whose voice don’t you hear throughout Sampson’s life? His father’s. Even the strongest and most talented individuals require guidance, direction, and correction on their life journey. Above all, a boy’s father is the most important earthly voice to help him avoid making mistakes, just like Sampson. A father’s active and intentional engagement helps him see his son’s blind spots, flaws that require correction, and overall development. Fathers see farther, so your presence allows you to see what your sons don’t and can’t see.
As a father of young boys, how would you advise someone who missed out on being involved in their children’s early years and now is in their late teens or older?
First, apologize to them sincerely and ask them how your absence and lack of presence impacted them so that you truly understand their perspective. In other words, take those gut punches and then forgive yourself. It’s never too late to be in your children’s lives—even if you missed some vital phases. At first, your children may not be open to repairing your relationship, so patience is essential. Remember, if it took a while for your relationship to become strained, it would take time to mend it. Ask God for wisdom. You don’t have to be perfect to improve the relationship. Just be consistent and intentional from now on. And truth be told, their expectation isn’t the perfect father, just a present father.
What are some of the biggest challenges for new dads today?
Some challenge for new dads is that fatherhood doesn’t come with a manual, so even if you feel “prepared,” there are things you just can’t account for because you have never done fatherhood before. Enjoy fatherhood at each stage: the good, the bad, the frustrations, everything. Your goal is to guide them to what God desires them to be, and the good, bad, and frustrations are a part of that journey. And this will make you a better father in the long run. Also, surround yourself with other fathers in various stages of fatherhood so you don’t go through it alone. Connect with other fathers to get different perspectives and encouragement. Finally, be prayerful and ask God for insight.
What breaks your heart the most as you engage with the topic of fatherhood in our current culture?
What breaks my heart the most is seeing the fallout from absent fathers and seeing it in just about every section of society. As someone with a professional background in education and the social services field, I see it in real-time daily.
What’s next for you?
I’m not sure. I do my advocacy for fatherhood from a biblical perspective will never end. But I want to create a workbook for Dear Sons and possibly a podcast.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.