Father’s Day is like the ugly stepsister of Mother’s Day. There’s quite a bit of fanfare around Mother’s Day. No one wants to forget Mother’s Day, but Father’s Day? It just doesn’t seem to carry the same appeal. Sometimes it feels like we have Father’s Day just to be fair. Mother’s Day is one of the US Post Office’s busiest times of the year. Not so of Father’s Day.
Father’s tend to be under appreciated, and taken for granted. The role of the father has received a bad rap during the last few decades. Just watch how they are portrayed on television. More often than not, dads are characterized as buffoons, or idiots. One of my favorite shows from the late nineties was Everyone Loves Raymond. I laughed a lot at that show. But as a husband and father, Ray Romano played a really big idiot, and his wife on the show said as much again and again.
Some might say that dads getting a bad rap is something they have brought on themselves. Could be. I’ll admit there are too many dads out there that don’t realize how important their jobs are, and I’m not talking about the jobs they go to everyday to earn a living. Those jobs are very important, but I’m talking about the job of father.
We have elevated the role of Mother to near sainthood, and where does this leave the role of the father? Time and time again, when you see a college football player on television, he will wave into the camera, and say, “HI Mom!” Never mind that it was dad who taught him to run, throw a ball, and get back up from a tackle.
A father’s job description is nearly impossible. They must be strong, yet gentle. They must provide, but be available. They should be stern, yet playful. Both dependable and spontaneous. Brave but willing to be transparent.
Father’s carry a heavy load. As head of the household, they bear the responsibility for the family. The Bible teaches that fathers are head of the family as Christ is head of the church. As a mother, I will not be the one to stand before God one day and give an accounting of how I led our family, but my husband will.
Despite the media’s portrayal, I think a lot of dads are getting it right these days. I see dads engaging with their children. I see dads honoring their wives and supporting them in their important role as mothers.
I see how my husband influences his own children. We have three boys and one girl. He is definitely a bit more forceful with our boys. He pushes them to be young men of character and integrity. Sometimes he has to push hard. But he knows that one day they, too, will stand in his place at the head of their own families.
Our daughter is a different story altogether.
I am thankful we have but one daughter to raise. I’m not sure he could live through another. At least without chemical assistance. Daughters are difficult for dads. Dads just really get sons. Daughters? Not as much. But dads are as important for daughters as they are for sons. Dads can’t afford to put their heads in the sand regarding their girls, just because dealing with them is tough.
Girls need so much the love and affirmation of their fathers. When I see a young girl showing a bit too much skin, I know that more than likely there is either an absent father or one who might as well be. Young girls crave male affirmation. Ideally this comes from dad, but they will get it one way or another. Wise dads know this, and make sure their girls see themselves through their father’s eyes.
The challenge we moms face is in allowing our spouses to be the head of the household. After Eve ate that apple and then served it up to Adam, part of the resulting curse we face is our desire to usurp the head of the family. Yet our husbands need our respect and affirmation. They need us to be their loudest cheerleader. After all, our Heavenly Father has ordained their position in the family.
I’ve seen the result of a man constantly beaten down by his wife. After a while, he withdraws from the family physically or emotionally. As much as we might think we can do a better job of this or that, only the father has been given the role of head of the family. As wives and mothers, we will not be held accountable for how we led our families (unless, of course, the father is no longer present), but we will likely be held accountable for how we showed respect and honor to the one who was.
This Father’s Day, lets honor those dads who are trying every day to be the fathers God has called them to be. They are out there, and I believe their numbers are growing.