Father’s day is done; the one day in the year we get those gifts, assortment of cards and kind words. This year I didn’t get that mini fridge stocked with beer or a Bugatti espresso maker, I got something better.
I got to spend Father’s day with my kids and even though my youngest got me to make my own Father’s day card and keep it for most of the day before declaring it Mother’s day (bless him), I still enjoyed the family time which might otherwise might have been taken up with ‘more important’ things like work.
At church service, after Sunday School, the children came to the front to show off their creations and recite a line “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” All the fathers were then presented with a cookie and their cards. Somehow my little ‘un thought the presentation was just that, a presenttion and then promptly took the cookie back off me and shared it with his sister (bless his little VANS trainers).
That and the Facebook messages I received from my sisters and other friends made me think about how privileged a position it must be as a dad. I won’t be wasting words here about all the great things dads are praised for but I will mention just one:
We’re meant to offer this to our children unconditionally and it seems to me they instinctively know this from an early age (unless you’re an abusive father), so it saddens me to watch fathers putting their kids in harm’s way when I read stories of murder suicides or even worse, just murders.
Some of these actions appear to be aimed at hurting a partner or ‘getting back at them’ but I could never understand why you’d involve kids in all of that. I’m from the school of thought that children are innocent and their safety and emotional well-being are important if we plan on building a society better than the one we have now.
I can imagine the strain and stress that would lead some men to get to that stage and we don’t come with a big ‘s’ emblazoned on our chest but we are men. Shouldn’t that be reason enough to act the part? Reason enough to be calm, rational and compassionate? I would hope so.
It’s PG for a reason
Parental guidance is essentially shielding young ones from scenes unsuitable for their age, that would include sex, violence and other disturbing scenes. If you’re not willing to let them witness your bedroom antics they need not witness your violent outbursts either. If you plan on being your child’s hero for a lot longer before they discover your clay feet, my advice would be to put their welfare and protection first before everything, including yourself.
I know of quite a few men who died old and lonely and I know others who still get called ‘hero’ by their children well into old age. I’m not perfect but I know which group I’d like to be in. The good book says Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesisans 6:4) Even if you aren’t Christian, the first part of that sentence is self-explanatory.
Children are gifts that don’t come with a gift receipt; you can’t return them even if you never acknowledge them or take the gift wrap off, they will always be yours.
Morning lesson over, I’m off to think happy thoughts with a cup of coffee.