Several years ago my son and I attended a father-son retreat and the director of the organization that coordinated the event shared this statement in the beginning of his speech. This one sentence has echoed in my head almost non-stop since then. I think the primary reason why the statement touched me is my deep concern for how fatherhood is being downgraded in America. No matter what anyone says about manhood, if there were no fathers, there would be no families. God established from the foundations of the earth that it would take a man and a woman to make a family. We can try all kinds of alternative ways to produce children but no matter how you slice it, it takes two to tango. Fathers and mothers play critical roles in the raising of healthy, value-centered children. What Mainstream America seems to be doing, from my perspective is pushing today’s youth to honor anything and everything, except their dads. As a matter of fact on most shows on TV, Dads are the unintelligent ones in the family and the wives are the brilliant thinkers of the home. Mom’s wisdom is cherished and Dad is the laughing stock.
Fathers bring a good balance to the family, especially for the children. A good father will show his daughters the unconditional love they need to develop confidence and self-worth. Absent of dads love, girls often find themselves grasping at air for acceptance and love. A young man with the wrong motives will do his best to fill this void in her life. Mothers, I am not saying that you cannot raise a strong and self-confident woman by yourself; thousands of you have done this very well. What I am saying is that a caring compassion father makes this process much easier because girls find strength in their dads. I will never forget one time when my daughter was 5 years old; she was approached by a little boy at a soccer game who proceeded to say “Hey honey why don’t you give me a kiss.” My daughter immediately responded to this boy’s advances (at a very young age) by saying, “As far as I can see, you do not look like my husband!” My wife and I, from the youngest ages of our children’s lives have communicated the importance of marriage. I also believe she was confident in responding this way because she did not need a little boy to affirm her. She receives unconditional love from her father and this makes her feel confident in who she is. I was not at the event, but I was told several girls gave in this Junior Romeo’s advances.
My boys are in the same boat. As a result of having a committed father, they do not have any desire to find relevance with hanging out with large groups of boys and more importantly, joining a gang. As a father, I affirm my boys just as I do my girls (4 children total) and in doing so; they do not have to turn to television, celebrities or even their peers for a sense of significance. I remember one day my son was playing basketball in our front yard with some of the neighborhood boys. One of the boys was harassing him non-stop on his Christian faith and his Church attendance. My son and the neighborhood friends did not know that I could hear the conversation from a window in our home. My son responded to this barrage of attacks on his commitment by saying “you should try visiting sometime. It might change your life.” He did not argue, stomp his feet or combat with the young man, he simply stood his ground in a humble way. He was confident in his stance because he is confident in himself. A good father can help their children feel this way about themselves.
Back to the original statement, I believe way to many young men and ladies are selling out to a system that is trying to redefine them. Many do not have a sense of identity, so the world is waiting to give them one. Some of these kids are without their dad or have limited fatherhood influence. Divorce is becoming rampant in our country so as aforementioned; we are experiencing a dearth of fatherhood. For the dads who are at home, many are not honored in the way they were years ago. Scores of fathers are belittled and disrespected by media and in some cases, their own families. This will one day prove detrimental to our nation for no matter how you feel about fatherhood; dads will always play a significant role in the development of our families. When dad is in the mix, our nation as a whole benefits. If we remove the importance of fatherhood from the family, this nation will lose its power. We are already seeing signs of it as we speak. High dropout rates, teen murders and suicides on the rise, teen pregnancy becoming the rule instead of the exception, broken homes, ravished communities and much more.
America needs to get back to its foundation of honoring fatherhood or we will continue to suffer as a nation. Mark my word; what happened to other superpowers can happen to us. More to come on this subject but please if you know of or live with a person, who values fatherhood, honor them today. Our nation needs for them to succeed-in being a good father and family man. If not, our fate as a nation looks bleak!