What does it mean to be a Father?
There is of course the biological role, in a loving relationship with the mother, of giving life. From this point forward the father becomes the foundation, the support, not necessarily in terms of financial but emotionally, for the family.
The Father is looked upon as providing a stabilizing influence, dishing out the discipline when needed, and the one the children go to because he is the “soft touch.” When problems arise the Father is supposed to know what to do, and for the children’s sake he is at least supposed to appear to know what he is talking about! The Father provides an atmosphere of safety peace.
When the lawn needs mowing, it is the Father who does it. Heavy lifting, call your Dad. How to throw a football, our Dad shows us how he used to do it. When it is time to go fishing it is Dad who puts the worm on the hook. And of course the girls are the apples of their eyes. If they are in the middle of scolding them they blurt out “I love you”! You know she’s working you even at 5, but what can you do!
As the children get older it is the Father that helps his son through adolescence and talks to him about the high school football game and girls. It is the Father who tries to be the role model that his son will follow, and gives advice that he hopes will help guide him through life. He shows his daughter how a woman should be treated, with respect and love, by respecting and loving his wife their mother.
And as our Fathers get older and become Grandfathers they are the patriarchs of the family. We depend on them because of their years of wisdom and seek out their advice on everything from parenting to politics. And as we watch them get older we worry, wonder, fearing the day when they finally leave us.
This Father’s Day tell your dad you love him and thank him for everything they have done, or tried to dobecause, if truth be told, their spirit and legacy lives on within you whether you like it or not. And a few kind words is a small price to pay for such a gift.