First, don’t panic. I’m reading this book to help me start thinking about parenting in a more realistic way: the idea that you can play with kids for a while, and then take the batteries out (so to speak) when you don’t want to play with them anymore is an appealing one, but probably not a realistic one.
On to the book. Tony Payne is well-qualified to write a book on Fatherhood, given that he has five kids (three girls, then two boys). He outlines the responsibilities and the struggles that are involved in being a father: what you have to give up, and also how hard the juggling act is.
The book is written, it seems, to both a Christian and a non-Christian audience, although I felt like it was starting to drift more towards Christians-only towards the end of the book. It would be hard to write a book that explained the biblical idea of fatherhood without ending up like this, though.
Overall, I found it a useful read, of course limited by my not having kids yet. It shows the bible’s view on how much responsibility the father needs to take for his kids: spending time with them, providing for them, disciplining them, reading the bible with them; and helped to prepare me to think about life differently once kids are on the scene.
I knocked it over inside two days – it’s definitely a page-turner, and easy to read. Worth reading, if only to be encouraged to think biblically about fatherhood.