It’s Father’s Day today. I find that Father’s Day is a bit different from Mother’s Day. It’s almost as if it’s sort of a consolation prize to dads. I mean Mother’s Day was instituted first, and it wasn’t until a few years later, almost begrudgingly, that dads were given a nod.
Over the decades, I think dads have just accepted this lesser holiday for themselves. Dads don’t typically expect so much from their day, whereas, moms? Moms have great expectations for their day.
It seems, by and large, that most of us are filled with warm fuzzies when we think of Mother’s Day. But many have a hard time mustering up those same feelings when it comes to Father’s Day. It’s a shame really. The role fathers play in our lives is so paramount to how we turn out that it is really a role that should be celebrated with all the fanfare of Mother’s Day.
So what’s the problem?
I won’t pretend to think I have all the answers to that question. I do know that sometimes dads stumble a bit when it comes to how to execute their part in the lives of their children. I also think that we moms don’t always set them up for success. I don’t lay the blame completely at mom’s feet, it is the society we live in.
One of the longest running TV shows ever is The Simpsons. This is something I will never understand. It is also one of the worst portrayals of a father I have ever seen. Poor Homer never stands a chance. But The Simpsons show is not the only one to paint fathers in a bad light, in fact, you’ll be hard pressed to name many shows where the dad takes on his role and does it well.
In reality, if moms did a better job of setting men up for success in their roles as fathers, they would likely do a better job. It’s really what we were made to do the best. We were fashioned to help them. They need us. That doesn’t mean they are stupid, or bumbling, it means they need our support and help. So many times, women want to criticize and tear down their spouses with regard to how they parent, that after a while, the poor guy says, “I give up. You do it all.” And so we do. Because we can do it better, or so we think. Only we are wrong.
The way God designed the family was intentional. He set man as the head of the family, just as Jesus is head of the church. Have you ever been to a church where Jesus is not head of it? It doesn’t function very well does it? The same is true of the family. If dad is not at the helm, the family will never be what it could be. Now that’s not to say that the wife is not playing an integral part. She is. But when she tries to play the man’s part, it all goes south, just like in the church.
This is a challenge to women. Always has been, since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Eve stepped out of her role and led Adam. And we’ve been fighting sin ever since. Some of you don’t like that, but truth is truth.
Maybe it would be good to repaint the picture of dad’s role. Perhaps dad is standing against the world’s measuring stick and can’t help but come up short every time. But what if dad stood up to God’s measuring stick? How would he stand up to that?
Let’s take a look.
We’ve already said that God has set man up as head of the household. Ladies, how are we doing there? Are we letting him lead? Are we encouraging him to do that which God has called him to do, or are we so critical and demeaning that he gives up trying just to avoid our mouths?
Dads love God first. A man cannot lead his family in the way that it should go, if he doesn’t first and foremost love God. Both mom and kids will feel safer following a man who is following God.
Dads love mom. The best thing a dad can do, next to loving God, is love their kid’s mom. It has to be intentional, obvious, and it should probably involve some TMI moments in front of the kids. My husband loves that one. Nothing paints a better picture of security for kids than for them to know that dad loves their mom.
Dads lead by example. Good dads never say, “Do what I say, not what I do.” And yet so many lead this way. What a dad wants their kids to do, he must do. If he wants his kids to honor their mother, he must honor their mother. If he wants his kids to grow up with a good handle on finances, he must handle his money well. You get my drift.
Dads are there, no matter what. No situation is too sticky for a dad to jump in and help. Kids need to know that no situation they may find themselves in is too sticky to call dad in for. A good dad will come.
Today, I honor my own dad, Tom Godfrey for the way he led our family. He has always been a shining example to me of a biblical dad. I also honor my father-in-law, Paul Benson, who for the last 25 years has loved me as if I was his very own daughter. But mostly today, I honor my husband, Matthew, who without a doubt is the best model of a godly father I can imagine. The words I have written paint the best picture of him that there is. My kids are blessed beyond measure because of his leadership in our family.