What comes to your mind when you hear the word fatherhood?
My guest on the podcast today, Joey Eells, has a passion for fatherhood. When he became a father, he sought to step into that role in a way that would point his children toward their Heavenly Father. Joey is a foster and adoptive parent, and Children’s Pastor at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Illinois.
In this episode, Joey discusses the role of fatherhood, the complicated relationship that often exists between foster and biological parents, the challenges of navigating the complex needs of children, how to model the love of God as a father, and more! Listen in as Joey vulnerably shares his perspective and experience.
TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. We need to take fatherhood seriously.
There are countless statistics about the negative impact of not having a healthy father figure in our lives. Our experience with our earthly father directly impacts our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Even if our earthly father is absent, that impacts our impression of who God is. It can feel like He is far off and doesn’t care about our lives. A child’s experience of their father creates a lasting impact on their life.
“Our earthly father directly impacts the way we see our Heavenly Father.”
2. Dads need help too.
As we heard in Joey’s experience, oftentimes biological dads don’t know what kind of a role to take in their child’s life, especially if that child is already in foster care. Every dad wants to be better, but we don’t always know how to achieve that. This is why offering resources and support for dads is so important.
“He was loving her the best that he could in that moment.”
3. It’s never easy to say, “I can’t.”
Despite our best intentions, we have limits. One of the hardest things you will ever do is say, “I can’t.” From the stories of biological parents who make the difficult decision of giving up their rights or a foster parent who has to acknowledge that a child placed in their care might not be in the best place for them. It is hard to utter those words but it is important to recognize that there is no shame in them. When considering what is best for children, there will be times when that best is found outside of ourselves.
“The hardest ones are when you as a foster parent say I can’t do this one.”
- Dad Camp
- National Fatherhood Initiative
- McLean County Fatherhood Coalition
- [BOOK] The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
- [BOOK] Father God: Daring to Draw Near by Dave Patty
- Join Team 3:10
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Meet Our Guest
Joey Eells is a foster parent, adoptive parent, and children’s pastor at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Illinois. Joey and his wife, Liz, have four children, three adopted out of foster care and one biological. Before entering full-time ministry, Joey was a PE teacher for nine years. Joey has a passion for his faith, fostering, and fatherhood.
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