Before my husband and I got married, I knew he had a deep desire to be a father. It was something that he had always wanted, and I found it to be absolutely charming. I loved watching him with my nieces and nephews, and I knew he’d be a great dad one day. Just as many of my friends have dreamt of motherhood their entire lives, many men look forward to the day when someone calls out, “Daddy!” They think about and plan for it.

So, what are some of the reasons these incredible men want to be fathers?

1.     Evolution – On the most basic level, our DNA screams for progeny. There is a need to carry on the human race, and men are ready to step up to the plate.

2.     Passing on Knowledge – But it’s much deeper than just populating the land. Indeed, what is a population of people who can’t learn from their past? Being a father provides the awesome opportunity to share knowledge with someone who is eager to learn. Have you ever sat down with a child to teach them how to do . . . anything?! They are mesmerized by the knowledge bestowed on them and you can’t help but want to share more.

3.     Admiration – And when those kids look into your eyes with this newfound knowledge, it’s as if they look deep into your soul and offer praises of admiration for you. Truly, you feel like $1,000,000! In that moment, you are confident there is no one on the planet cooler than you. And those moments just keep coming throughout their lives. Fatherhood is one big happy moment after another when you are admired for being the best around.

4.     Financial Consistency – What do I mean by this? Well, let’s be honest. Fatherhood is expensive. So to that man who has too much money coming in and doesn’t know what to do with it . . . there is hope. And that hope is in fatherhood. Consistently you will know that money will be leaving your checking account. You will not know where it goes, but you will never again fear not knowing how to spend your money. It will be spent for you. Such a life of ease.

5.     Life Fulfilled – It’s true that the above list is filled with a bit of sarcasm and humor, but in all seriousness, every man I talked to (fathers and those hoping to become fathers one day) said they wanted to be a dad because it brought meaning to their lives. In fact, it was the only response each of them gave.

Being a father is about the relationship between you and a child. It’s about trust and love, in its purest form. Repeatedly, these men shared their feelings of fatherhood being an intimidating responsibility, but one worth taking on. Marcus explained, “I’ve always wanted to be a dad because it gives meaning to my life. If I didn’t have children, I would still go to work and make money, but to what end? Without children, the end result of all those things would simply be sustaining my own existence. But with children, I have greater purpose. When I feel like I have been a good dad, I go to bed feeling that my day was meaningful . . . ultimately I love the sense of purpose and meaning that they [my children] give me. I am part of something greater and more important than just myself.”

Like my dad says, “Kids make each day worth living.” I suppose if we are all lucky enough, those same kids that make our days worthwhile will rub some of their purity, innocence, wonder, and goodness onto our hearts. It’s funny. A boy grows up wanting to be just like his dad, not knowing the entire time his dad is trying to change his own heart to be just like his son’s.

My dad is a man I look up to, who taught me right and wrong, and who leads a life of honesty. When I was young and sat on his shoulders, I swear I could touch a cloud! In a very real way, he instilled that tall feeling—that confidence—in me at a young age, and it has carried me throughout my life. I now have a father-in-law who adds his wisdom and example, enriching my life even more.

But fatherhood isn’t restricted by contract or law. Since childhood, I’ve known many father types who lovingly extended themselves to me and my family. My children have also benefited from strong, brave, gentle, loving men who’ve led by example. Their innate fathering ways have extended across biological lines to touch our lives for the better. Why do they do it? It seems to me that it’s because sharing their hearts with others, offering counsel, and being there to help, teach, and comfort (everything my own father does) adds more meaning and purpose to their lives . . . and it definitely adds more meaning to my own.