Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Father’s Day is upon us. It is that special day we set aside to remember that other parent we call Dad.
Father’s Day never seems to measure up to Mother’s Day. One gentleman said that Mother is romanticized with great stories and tales of her heroic efforts in bringing up the children, while Dad is acknowledged as a good bread winner or supporter at most.
The truth of the matter is that in some communities dad is still a word rather than a human presence. And where they are a presence their role revolves traditionally around provision rather than nurturing.
Nothing and no one can beat a nurturer. To the credit of many men today they are learning to be more active in the nurturing of their children. In our society men seem to wield the power of authority while women seem to exert more influence. I hardly believe a man can touch the heart as well as a woman can. Men are better fitted for some things and women for others. That is why society and even more specifically, our children needs both.
If two men can do all that a man and woman can do then one gender is redundant. But the variety, the beauty, the accomplishments and the diverse contributions that a cross gender relationship can provide cannot happen in a same sex relationship.
So fathers, we have our place and mothers have their place. A mother can be a lot more effective with a father who is supportive and a father can be a lot more effective with a mother who is supportive. Our roles are not competitive but complimentary; we don’t compete we compliment. Many years ago I was poring through a joke book looking for something humorous for mother’s day. I came across this one. The writer was lamenting the fact that it seems women always win no matter how things turn out. He said when we are born people ask how is the mother doing. When we get married they say how did the bride look? And when we die they ask how much did he leave her?
To give mother that first place of respect is built into our culture. If there was one person I would like to “bow” to it would be my mother or my children’s mother. Think about the impact if every man felt that way. Sometimes greatness is measured not in terms of what we do of ourselves, but what we enable others to do and become.
In that way fathers can be great and fathers have been great because of how they affected the lives of their children and spouse. No matter what is said about men in general a father who touches the lives of his children and provides the love and support that his wife needs is a hero in a way that cannot be measured in economic terms.
On Father’s Day let us encourage our fathers, let us salute and honor them because fathers will never be out of style, obsolete or redundant as long as families exist.
Happy Father’s Day.