Father’s Day is today and I hope you are able to enjoy time with the father figures in your life. If they are not near, call them; thank them for investing in your life. Mark on your calendar three months from now to invite them over for dinner or send a "thinking of you" card. I am blessed to have many father like ones in my life. I have my dad and father-in-law near us, my pastor who is a spiritual father and has offered fatherly wisdom in my life over the years and I am so grateful for my husband and father of my children. He is a great father! He changes diapers, he helps with baths and raising our sons, he steps in when he knows I am overwhelmed or in need of a moment to myself. My husband brings laughter and fun when I get too serious and caught up in my list making and planning.
Too often in the day we live in fathers are looked down on, I know there are some men who are not great fathers, but I choose to focus on the great MEN who rise up to the occasion and are GREAT father’s. I know even some men who do not have kids of their own or who have step children who have stepped up to the plate and are great men and fathers to children. Men who volunteer to coach, volunteer to mentor, there are great men all around us and unfortunately in today’s media and TV shows I feel “bad fathering” is magnified instead of the great fathering I see all around. Many of my friends’ fathers while I was growing up offered me great fatherly wisdom, and many times paid for things as if I was one of their own kids. I had a male Spanish teacher in high school that was always encouraging me to make wise choices, and teaching life lessons alongside of Spanish lessons.
I encourage you if you are a single mom or maybe don’t have the greatest father figures in your life or your children’s to not focus on that, or voice that in front of your children. Choose to forgive and teach your children to forgive. Teach your children to be the best mom’s, best dads, best father like ones in other people’s lives. Rather than talking of all the negative short comings of some, we should point out the best we see in others. My parents were not perfect; I am not perfect most of us are doing the best we can. I know there are some who have run out on their responsibility, try and find something good you can say about them to your children. When you first met them you liked something about them, focus to remember that. Explain that unfortunately sometimes people make bad decisions and it really is them who are missing out on the best of times. I would rather focus on the great things my parents did in raising me, rather than focus on the mistakes they made and I hope my children will do the same.
As parents it is a good reminder that we are not only raising our sons and daughters but we are raising someone’s future wife or husband and the future mom’s and dads. Let this reminder motivate you to be the best you can be and strive for a great marriage so our kids have a marriage example to model after. Strive to connect with your children in the different seasons of their lives. As parents it's easy to caught caught up in being mom or being dad, that we lose sight of the big picture. I want my kids to want to spend time with me, to enjoy being with me, it takes effort to cultivate that relationship.
As mom’s and wives we should magnify our husband’s strengths and remind our children to be grateful for their father and respect and honor him for the gift he is. We should make room for them to father. I know too often we women like to take care of everything ourselves, allow room for the men in your life to father. Too often I hear the comment “I don’t need a man”. It’s not a matter of “needing” a man, men are a gift, they offer a different perspective, a different style, and it is good to make room for their gift.
If there is no father in the picture seek out a father like figure in a friend or maybe uncle who can invest in your children. There are great men out there who are happy to invest and spend time being an example.
Make it a prayer even if you have a great husband or father, that God would surround your children with godly counsel, that God would bring the right people men and women in their life to mentor and shape them and bring strengths and talents where we are lacking.
If you notice someone who is a great father, let them know they are doing a great job. Praise goes a long way, when you see your husband helping, fathering, express your appreciation, men are ego and enjoy the praise, and they will help more often if they know it’s appreciated! Point out to your children when you see great male role models, men who are fathering, give them something to aim for. I know growing up as a teenager I saw things in women, moms that I admired and still remember now that I have children.
I understand that Father’s Day can be difficult for some if you have lost a father recently or don’t have that father like one in your life. Make a choice to make Father’s day great, celebrate those you know who are great fathers, invest in your son’s on father’s day encouraging them to be great father’s when they grow up. Let them know they are valued and important and we need great male role models, we need great father like ones, we need great men who serve in our churches, serve in our communities, who become business owners that make a difference in the lives of their employees, in their communities. Don’t have anyone in your life you can give a Father’s day card to, give one to a dad who is coaching a team, give one to a single father, give one to a pastor or school teacher who invests father like wisdom in many, give a father’s day card to a business owner that sponsors a local kids sports team, thanking them for investing in our community.
Let’s cheer on the great fathers and let’s raise up our sons to be great men, great fathers, and one who will invest in not only their own children but others too.
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