May we be as shrewd as Sheriff Taylor

Posted: July 5, 2012 in Fatherhood
Tags: ,

To many people, Andy Griffith was an ideal father figure as the lead role in The Andy Griffith Show.

Sheriff Andy Taylor was patient, kind, wise, funny yet authoritative. He seemed comfortable leading his family and community. Barney’s blunders and Aunt Bee’s ill-informed perspectives caused him trouble, but it was little Opie who tested his leadership and boundaries season after season.

Now contrast that with today’s modern TV dad. Many shows portray fathers as blundering, lazy, inept couch potatoes. (Thanks Al Bundy.)

But research shows this isn’t the case at all.

The Pew Forum study, A Tale of Two Fathers, reveals that dads who are involved in their kids’ lives are really involved with their children. The data also points out that many more dads are spending significant amounts of time raising their children. On the other hand, dads who live apart from their children are much less involved in their children’s lives. (I’ll talk more about this research in future blog posts.)

But my point is this…if you are reading this blog or other sites about fatherhood, then you are probably in the first group. You are probably a good guy, trying his hardest to raise great kids like the level-headed sheriff on TV.

Below is an entire episode of The Andy Griffith Show condensed into a 5-minute YouTube clip. This episode shows Opie attempting a new manipulation technique in order to get what he wants. May we be as shrewd as Sheriff Taylor.

RIP Andy Griffith.

  1. I’ve seen this episode many times and others like it and I have often wondered how (aside from this being a tv show) Andy was able to do all he did as a single parent, but of course he had Aunt Bee tending the home, but still, was it patience, Opie’s respect of him or his teaching Opie respect, or did Andy have one or more incredible role models to show him how to do this?

    The question, then, becomes, how do we – as single or married parents – learn to have this patience, garner this respect and be able to display such love through discipline if we were not afforded proper role models? I have to keep faith that God will instruct me in the raising of my children in my times of need, that He has provided a role model – not just in the absence of an earthly father, rather, a perfect model to be the head of my family, Jesus. When I seek patience and guidance to aide me in my parenting, and seek solace from the fear that I have not instilled respect in my children, I must be quiet and listen, read my Bible and use the practical, loving guidelines God has provided.

    Sometimes we just need certain truths to be spoken aloud like the kid in this clip whose bicycle was more meaningful than his Dad’s freedom. Surely, God places people in front of us and provides these situations as opportunities for reparation in our parenting. Our job is to be humble enough to recognize these provocations as provisions to redirect or modify our childrearing practices.

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