The Single Dad Detour
By Tez Brooks
Practical steps to embrace God's mission for single Dads
Conventional wisdom holds that fathers have few parenting skills and that mothers always know best. The single father is often considered a mythical creature, found only in sitcoms as an object of humor or pity. Where does that leave real single dads? Too often, it makes them susceptible to overcompensation or apathy.
Tez Brooks knows those feelings all too well. He's traveled that road with his own children after an unexpected divorce. The Single Dad Detour is the result of his journey and the lessons he's learned along the way. It's a guidebook for the rocky road of single fatherhood, extending encouragement, confidence, and challenges, using specific examples from dads who've survived parenting and have hope to offer.
There are no unreachable requirements for perfect fatherhood here and no twisty theological mysteries---just authentic, down-to-earth wisdom from one dad to another.
I'm not the target audience for this book, but I chose to review it because I thought The Single Dad Detour might be a valuable asset to the many men who find themselves in this life situation - and I was exactly right! I can't speak on how it compares to other books on this topic because I don't believe there's much out there for divorced/single dads. The Single Dad Detour is a much-needed book, functional and practical in the topics covered, and very well written.
In the introduction, Tez writes: "What we will learn is how to be a rock for our kids while still healing from the trauma ourselves." Tez is someone I've grown to admire through these pages - because he's been in a rough place, endured the unthinkable, made mistakes, failed, succeeded, and come through it closer to his children and to God than ever before. There's nothing "preachy" about this book; Tez just writes in a conversational style from the heart, with raw honesty and humor, drawing from his own experiences and those of others he has met.
Part of The Single Dad Detour offers practical help with this new reality, such as creating a new home environment, cooking, physical health, and making new family traditions. Other sections deal with the emotional side, like the pain of rejection, grieving and overcompensating. I loved chapter 10, a great visual where Tez uses various models of cars to illustrate the image traps dads can fall into.
"When we understand our significance comes from who we are
in Christ, it defeats thoughts of failure."
Most important of all, Tez devotes much attention to our personal relationship with God - putting God on the throne of our hearts, the need for meeting with other believers, being in community - and then modeling God to our children. One of my favorite sections is chapter 10, where Tez talks about the supreme importance of abiding in Christ. Drawing from the story of Mary and Martha, he closes with this thought:
Everything the world throws at single dads - lust for sexual encounters, desire for possessions for ourselves and our kids, recognition as good dads - it all comes from mere humans. There's nothing honorable or long-lasting about it, because this planet is fizzling out, along with all the stuff in it. But fathers who choose the good portion (that of spending time in God's presence) have chosen something that lasts forever.
The Single Dad Detour would be a great asset to any single dad - whether just going through this situation or several years on the other side. If there's a single dad in your family or circle of friends, giving them this book and praying for them would have tremendous impact. Highly recommended.
Tez Brooks is the father of four children and a missionary filmmaker for The Jesus Film Project. He has also been a journalist for Cru and a Florida law enforcement officer. Tez has been speaking and writing books and articles for over thirty years.
Find Tez online at everysingledad.com and Facebook. You can also visit the Litfuse Blog Tour page for more information.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.