This piece first appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of Evangelization & Culture, the quarterly journal of the Word on Fire Institute. Learn more and become a member today to read more pieces like this.
Years ago, I found myself watching Ron Howard’s moving film Parenthood, starring Steve Martin. A winsome ride through the ever-trying vicissitudes of child-rearing, Parenthood centers on Gil Buckman (played by Steve Martin), who wrestles with what it means to be a good father. Forever grappling with his own cold and distant upbringing at the hands of his father (wonderfully played by Jason Robards), Gil is determined to be for his children everything that his father was not for him.
There is one inescapable question that dominates this film: In the midst of life’s messiness, how does one make sure that their children will “be okay”? It is a question every engaged parent asks him or herself, not just daily, but several times a day.