The Weekly Dream: Where’s My Daddy
“For though ye have ten thousand instructors…yet ye have not many fathers”
-1 Corinthians 4:15
Every year, I am always stricken by the dramatic difference between how Mother’s Day is celebrated and how Father’s Day is treated in America . Mothers always get the best gifts: chocolates, perfumes, dinner. On the other hand, fathers receive ties or a card, if anything at all. In truth, fatherhood is one of the most thankless jobs I have ever known. It is right there next to teachers in my book. Fathers work all day and sacrifice, and often are treated as strangers in their homes.
Single parent households are overrepresented in our society, to the point where we essentially have created a fatherless society. Numerous studies have been done on the welfare state and its effect on the family. Not to mention that African-Americans and Hispanics make up the prison population. When you look at the divorce rate in America , few children are growing up with a consistent male figure in the home. The government does not create any incentive to remain involved in the family, as laws actually make it more difficult for fathers to assert their rights in the courts. And even though there are men out there who are taking care of their children and often someone else’s, it is the deadbeats who get all of the recognition.
In the process, we have lost sight of the role fathers’ play and even have convinced ourselves that we do not need them.
Father Knows Best
A father is the keeper of the home. He provides the discipline and instills order. He is also supposed to love, support and protect his household. For a son, he is the first example of manhood. For a daughter, he shows her how to interact with men and what to expect. A father imparts identity to his children. On a spiritual level, he should be an example of how God interacts and treats us as His children. If your relationship with God is lacking, you might look at your relationship with your natural father.
We need the spirit of the father. It is one of strength, correction, guidance, consistency and provision. Whether you have children or not, whether you are taking care of someone else’s children, as a man we can demonstrate this in our daily lives through mentorship. This means that a Father is active. It is more than a biological title. It is a connection and wisdom that comes from intimate involvement.
It is our responsibility to help transition the younger generation of boys to men. However, a lot of us were never really taught ourselves, so we first need to deal with our own issues regarding our fathers before we can go forward.
Children need their fathers.
An Open Letter
Growing up, my father worked extremely hard. I grew up watching how he handled situations and his habits. Now that I am a man, I catch myself doing the things I saw him do. Wherever I go, people would stop me and say “You’re Steve DeVougas’ son” or “That’s something your father would say.” And although my exposure to my father was limited growing up, I became more and more like him.
My father taught me how to survive and to be a man among men. He taught me how to walk (head straight and shoulders back), navigate corporate America and how to introduce myself to people. My father showed me how to educate myself and to tie a tie. When I had my first fight, he was the one that taught me how to box. He put a basketball in my hand. He taught me about having character and sacrificing for your family.
My father always expected excellence from his children and taught all of us that leaders do not have to be popular-it is all right to be different and stand out. A lot of my peers were not getting that message at home. And I knew that I was fortunate to know and have a relationship with my Dad.
Our relationship had its ups and downs, and a lot of times, I did not understand or agree with the decisions that he made, but now I am older and I can appreciate the position he was in. A young man’s relationship with his father is always a complicated and sensitive subject. One thing he always told me, “As a man, you don’t have to be perfect. All you have to do is make the best decision you can with the information you have.” I realize that my father did the best he could with what he had-for that I am thankful.
A lot of us men do not have a relationship with our fathers, so when we have children, we are in foreign territory. One thing is for sure, your children should never have to grow up like that. If your father is around, you should reach out to him, regardless of what he may have done. He may have done things that were unforgivable, but learn from his mistakes, seek closure and forgiveness.
If you have a wonderful relationship with your father, thank him and honor him for the impact he has made on your life and the sacrifices he has made for you.
If you have not been the best father, it is never too late to handle your responsibilities.
Fathers, be patient with your children, they may be unable to appreciate you now, but one day, they will realize the difference you have made in their lives.
And please, get him something better than a card.
Thanks for everything Dad, you did better than you give yourself credit for. Happy Father’s Day and I love you. Real Talk.
God Bless all of the real fathers, it is too few of you.
Truth and Peace,
Steven M DeVougas
Question of the Week: What is a father to you? What is your relationship like with your father?