"A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, and unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets of society." - Billy Graham
Yesterday was Father's Day. Somehow it seems that we tend to make a bigger deal about Mother's Day than Father's Day. In general father's tend to get a bad rap in society. We are constantly hearing about the effects of absent fathers and about how fathers don't take responsibility for their children, are emotionally absent, or are too overbearing and hard on their children. These stories are in movies, tv, music, and on the news. Mothers are constantly praised for the hard work and sacrifice that they put into raising their children while fathers are constantly put down for not being there.
Even fathers who are around tend to be put down. There are constant jokes about what happens when fathers are left to watch the children without mom around. While some of these are funny mostly they seem to have a bad view of the father's capability of watching their own children. It promotes a view that father's should work to pay the bills, be a disciplinarian, but everything else should be left to the mother.
As a father writing to fellow fathers I want to recognize these stereotypes in society and speak against them. I know so many fathers, young and old alike, that are great with their children and I applaud you all. With all of the previous stereotypes there is a tendency to feel that the mother's job is more important than the father's but let me tell you that your job is just as important.
You are the first representative of God that your children will see.
Your daughters will look for a man that treats them like you treat them and their mother.
Your sons will ultimately emulate the way you act in your marriage and as a father.
Father's are the main source of inspiration, encouragement, and challenge for their children.
This is not to downplay the role of the mother. God designed us to have a need for both a father and a mother. One challenges and the other comforts, one inspires and the other nurtures, both provide love and support throughout life.
When you look at the above list it may seem like that is too big a job to take on but don't be discouraged. It is too big of a job to take on but as God told Paul he also tells us fathers:
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthian 12:9
Remember no one, not even your children, asks you to be perfect. You just are asked to be there, to try, to love. And so many of you are! According to the United States Census Bureau 24% of children are raised in a household with only one parent. Well this is sad that means that there are still 76% of children being raised with two parents!
So there are more of you fathers out there than society would like us to believe. Some of you are biological fathers and some of you are stepfathers but either way you are there and in prime position to pour love into the lives of your children.
Fathers I applaud you!
“What makes Will the best father in the world to me is that he’s there, not just there in a way that’s traditional. The emotional support he offers his children is immeasurable.”
Jada Pinkett Smith
“I found out that I’m a pretty bad father. I make a lot of mistakes and I don’t know what I’m doing. But my kids love me. Go figure.”