I have a special desire today to pause and give both, acknowledgement
and thanks, to the legions of unsung heroes of our lives. In the crazy busyness of life, of trying to “find our way” and achieve all those things we’re told and conditioned to believe are essential if we’re going to matter and “be somebody” and “have it all,” and the many on-line and media “resources and tools” to which we’re directed as having answers to our needs and short-cuts to this process, it can be observed there is one increasingly overlooked resource which is too-often given decreasing significance – the heart, example and role of fathers.
It is with great disappointment that I view so much media marginalizing the role and need for fathers and holding up “specimens” of diminishing worth and ability – even bastions of buffoonery and incompetence – as examples of manhood and fatherhood. Why? I’m not sure, but I am sure that neither political agendas nor desires to socially engineer societal norms and standards can change the truth. Not even an outright rejection of truth can change it. There it is and there it boldly stands – unfettered, unchanged and even if unrecognized – it remains immovable – truth. There are too many studies to ignore revealing the long-term impact and power of fathers to positively affect the lives of children in ways they need and for good of themselves and those they will impact as they grow and mature. Too many studies to ignore also reveal the negative impact of not having a father in the home and the long-term negative impact of that.
Without question, not everyone has been blessed with an “ideal” father or home and sometimes that has unfortunately repeated through generations. My hat’s off and my heart goes out to those who have struggled to break that cycle and become the kind of father they wished they had and know their children need.
It’s been said that the true strength of a man is in his capacity to love and to give….to carry others’ hopes and dreams as his own. I believe that for the most part fathers labor tirelessly and selflessly for their families, sacrificing many of their own interests and desires and quietly bearing the weight and burden of responsibilities they’ve gladly accepted, and silently carrying loads often unknown to others. I know of and admire many fathers who understand and seek to live by two declarations they hold sacred as great truths: “No success in life can compensate for failure in the home” and that “the greatest work they shall ever do will be within the walls of their own home.” They feel a need to matter for their children and families because their children and families matter, and mean everything, to them.
Fathers work hard to give their families the world because they are the world to him. Sure, they do their best to provide the material necessities and opportunities for their family, but more importantly they strive to provide teaching, encouragement, hope, self-confidence and faith in the future. Fathers strive to mold their own character so they can better help their children build theirs, understanding the development of character will bless their family long after their immediate presence and let their children yet feel the blessing of his influence and love.
It is noteworthy, as if to make sure the importance, significance and nobility of this great stewardship might not be lost on a busy world, and to provide the ultimate example, that God Himself desires and invites his children to call upon Him as “Father”.
To all those men who are so laboring, serving and loving – today and everyday – for their own families or as surrogate fathers to others – I acknowledge you and thank you for your great and life-changing examples. What you do absolutely matters. Like a pebble dropped into a pond, you will never know the extent and reach of the ripples of influence you cause for good. And to my own family, words cannot express the privilege, honor, blessings and joy I experience as my journey with you causes me to continually stretch because you deserve the very best I can become and offer.
Happy Father’s Day!