In no way am I discounting the importance of mommies as I write this today. But as we all can clearly see there is an epidemic of huge proportions in today’s world where dads are missing the mark. Sometimes I run across a daddy at the grocery store with two or three kids in tow, with his patience intact and his children smiling. I marvel at this, even to the point that I find myself congratulating him! Then I ask myself why I am congratulating him for being a good dad? I see women in the store with children all the time and never think to congratulate them. But that is what has happened in society today, the daddies are absent most of the time and the mommies have to take over in every area
I believe that this epidemic is one of the greatest downfalls of the children today. I hear so many comments on how children are turning out and how unruly they are or how many of them feel a sense of entitlement. It is no wonder to me why this is happening. I am sure they do feel entitled, that in fact they were entitled to have a participating father! Mothers can only do so much, especially when they are working mothers who are handling everything on their own. And this is not just the case for single mothers any longer, there are homes that still have dad in them but dad is not participating in the rearing of the children. Just to clarify, I know there are exceptional dads out there; I am talking about those other guys we all know.
For some reason most working men think that when they get home they have done their work and they are finished. But when mom gets home (one who is also working) her work has just begun. Mom works a double and triple shift just because she is mom. Now I know there are some pretty awful moms out there as well but not in the same number as the dads. And the children are suffering because this spot has been vacated.
I believe that God set up the order of things perfectly by providing a mom and a dad to meet the needs of the child. I know that in my own life I have suffered from the loss of love and interest from my dad. He stayed with us until I was eighteen because he knew the obligation, which I suppose should be commended, but he was only there in body. He was not involved in our lives and we did not communicate except when there was punishment to be doled out. He did provide for us for which I am very grateful but for the most part he was just the enforcer and not much else.
I have seen the void in both my life and the life of my brothers over the years because of the lack of love and communication from our dad. The boys became hardened and determined to show dad that they could make it on their own. It seemed like they almost had a competition with him, always trying to prove themselvesand make themselves valuable to him in some way. One of my brothers turned bitter and strong willed, he did however make his way in the world. He now has children of his own and is a hard task master to his own children but I do often see a softness I did not see in my own father that shows there is a deeper commitment. It is so very difficult to parent when there was not a role model to learn from. There are no manuals and even if there were it is not something that you learn from a book.
I on the other hand was the type of child that did not respond with the “I’ll show you” mentality. If I was told I was not adequate I believed it and I would pull back and try to blend into the scenery so as not to be seen. All of my life I did my best to please people and to get approval, especially from men. This is a scary place for a girl to be, trying to get approval from men. It is a vulnerable position, you never quite measure up and you find yourself doing things for approval that go against everything that you are but something you desperately need. I found myself wishing I was like my brothers in being tough and showing my dad I could make it.
The mother is the care giver, the nurturer, the encourager and she is so very important in a boy’s life and a girl’s. But there is something about the strength, love, and protection of a father that when it is missing really leaves a large void in the heart and life of a child. I see that in the life of my children as well. Because of the way I was raised I found myself married to someone, without realizing it, which was pretty much my father all over again. This is something that happens more frequently than you would think; women and men often marry people like their mom or dad because that is where they feel secure, even if it is an unhealthy relationship.
So now I am watching my daughter and my son struggle with similar problems that my siblings and I struggled with. My daughter is not as needy and insecure as I because I did my best to tell her that it was not her problem but her dads and that she was extremely important. I tried to explain that he just did not learn himself but she still has emotional needs that she does not know quite how to satisfy. My son is struggling to become a man. Not knowing what a real man is he finds himself trying to be tough and hard and pull away from me, only to find himself coming back to me when he fails or feels inadequate. Both children are having a very difficult time transitioning into adulthood as are so many other young people today.
What generally happens is that they make it into adulthood as incomplete adults and then become parents who produce incomplete adults as well. Now just to clarify, I am not saying that there are perfect parents, we all make mistakes and we were all raised in imperfect families. There may be some perfect families out there but I have never actually seen one. There are families who love each other greatly and even though everything is not perfect their love for each other keeps them pushing forward. Just the fact that they love so much and try so hard makes it perfect and even if the children are not in a perfect family they still come out to be strong, loving adults with good decision making skills.
Having a perfect dad is not what is important, having a daddy that wants to be part of your life, wants to take part in your training, and loves you with all his heart is what is important. This is also true for us as mothers. On the most parts moms have this down pat and they are there for their children in big ways and small. If the fathers would just realize that they do not have to be perfect but just be there in heart, mind, and body then they would actually be as close to perfect as it gets in this world.
I would love to see the dads in our world today step up and take their part so that when they are seen in public doing what a dad should do I feel no need to congratulate them. There is nothing sweeter than seeing a daddy holding the hands of their children as they walk along or a daddy playing with a child and making them giggle. It does not take a great deal to make a child feel secure and happy. The key is to just give it your best shot and let them know you love them and that you are trying. They will be blessed and turn out as well rounded adults even with all the mistakes as long as they know they were loved and did your level best. When love is there the heart knows it.