For Hollywood dad, Kirk Cameron, modelling manhood is dad-life proper.
Get past the Americana exterior, and the former atheist’s down-to-earth grasp of back-to-basics parenting has gravitas.
Known for his role as Mike Seaver in the seven-season sitcom, Growing Pains, Cameron is also a father of six.
Four of whom he and his wife of 31 years adopted not long after getting married. Two of whom, arrived later on.
He recently shared his story. Along with his thoughts on what it means to be a dad in a man-hating world.
Discussing Lifemark, his latest collaboration with the Kendrick Brothers about adoption, Cameron recalled,
“Our parenting journey started by adopting four kids. So, right out of the gates we wanted to adopt children. My wife is an adopted child.”
“We went from like zero to a hundred real quick. Had six car seats, 15 passenger van, and more Diapers than we know what to do with. It was like the crash course in parenting.”
Asked about the challenges of adoption, Cameron responded, the usual issues didn’t seem to affect them.
He, and his wife have been open with the children about their adoption, communicated reasons for why they were adopted, and involved the biological parent/s in their child’s lives.
“having kids and starting families — that’s tough work. No matter how it comes together”.
“Marriage is not easy. Marriage takes a lot of hard work, and raising kids is challenging, but it’s a sacred duty.”
“I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
“Being a father is the best role that I’ve ever played. We’re raising the next generation of humans. We’re shaping souls, and building character,”
Commenting on the fatherlessness crisis, and its links to the removal of God as father, Cameran equated fatherlessness with a virus:
“We’ve always taught our kids: Faith in God, and family first are right there at the top of the list. Love God. Put Family First. Be kind. Tell the truth. Work hard. We’ve got to get back to that.”
He then added,
“If we lose marriage, and we lose family, we’ve lost the workshop where the next generation is built with character, virtue integrity, and faith. These are the qualities that are essential for our nation to exist. For us to have a free constitutional republic.”
“Fatherless is not just like something that drops out of the sky.”
“Sometimes kids are fatherless because their dad has passed away, but much of the time we see that fatherlessness is the result of guys who bail on their responsibility.”
Acknowledging how difficult fighting for a marriage, and kids, instead of with, or against them can be, Cameron clarified,
“I know it can be tough, but the next generation is going to either pay the price, or reap the benefits of what we do as dads in this generation.”
“I want my kids to say, “My dad didn’t just talk to talk. He walked the walk.” I want my kids, and my wife to say, “Wow, my dad’s the real deal. He’s in the fight for the right stuff.”
Being a dad is “a great responsibility, but it’s incredibly rewarding,” the veteran actor, author, and filmmaker concluded.
Dads, he said, have
“the most important role in the world. More important, and more powerful than the president. More important, more powerful than the rich and the famous that you see on TV. The parent. As the father, man, you’re training up the Next Generation.”
Talking about discipline, the homeschooling dad encouraged “healthy discipline,” and discouraged conflating “beating a child” with spanking them.
When asked to offer advice to new dads, Cameron responded,
“Get in relationship, and under the authority of God. Let him train you, and make you the man that He created you to be. Read the Word of God. Let that be your map — your guide. Let that be the instruction manual for your life.”
His fatherhood advice to the new, the jaded, and the struggling was to “lead by example.”
Unpacking this last point in a separate interview with The Dad Edge, Cameron stated,
“The most important thing is, I need to be the kind of man that I want my sons to become.”
“I need to try to be the kind of husband that my daughters can look at and see as a model for the kind of men they want to marry.”
“Leading by example, I think, is the most important thing that I can do.”
Kirk and his wife, Chelsea are heavily invested in raising up the next generation.
The couple homeschool, and have, for the past 32-years been the main driving force behind Camp Firefly – a summer camp for terminally ill children.
Photo by Gage Skidmore.
Leave A Comment