It’s Fathers’ Day. Please spare me the lecture!
Each May, we all honor our precious Mothers. By “all,” I mean individuals, institutions (such as churches), the media, and others. We call our Mothers and send them cards thanking them for their love, support, gifts, and all the things we know about — and sometimes don’t know — which have brought richness to our lives.
We attend church services where we present roses or other flowers to the mothers in attendance. We publicly thank them for their love, support, gifts and all the things they have done which brought richness to our lives.
We watch news shows and other television programs about our mothers which bring tears to eyes.
This is how it should be.
Then, inexplicably, a month later, it seems much of society takes a different tact on Fathers’ Day.
On an individual basis, I think we well honor our Fathers. The calls, the cards, and the gifts we give our fathers tangibly demonstrate our love, affection and appreciation for the support, guidance, sacrifices and wisdom they have provided. This is how it should be.
Why is it, then, that so many institutions, media outlets, and commentators use Fathers’ Day as an opportunity to bash fathers?
Instead of flowers (or, perhaps another more appropriate masculine gift…say a sleeve of ProV1’s?), our pastors preach about the “death of fatherhood” and all the things fathers should be doing — and aren’t — to fulfill their family responsbilities.
Commentators remind us of the societal ills caused by absentee fathers, by abusive fathers, by deadbeat fathers.
Can you imagine the uproar if a pastor or commentator used Mothers’ Day to rail against the ills of unwed mothers or the abortion rate?
This year, let us all — individuals, institutions, and media commentators — celebrate the joys of fatherhood and the incredibly important role fathers play in society. Or better yet, let’s just pick up the phone and tell our own father we love him and appreciate the sacrifices he’s made for us.
Many marraige counselors say what men want most from their wives is honor and respect. I agree. We crave this from our wives…and our children.
So, Dad…or “Pop” as we sometimes call you…thanks for living your life as an honorable man. I respect you because of your values. Later this year you will turn 70 years old, though you still have the clarity of mind and stamina of one half your age. I know you won’t be around forever. I hope God sees fit for you to see your own son become a grandfather and perhaps even a great-grandfather. That would be that finest Fathers Day present I could ever have.