Yesterday was Father's Day. I had such a happy and full day with my family that I couldn't find time to get on here and mark the day with a blog post. So here I am, a day late. But I figure that any day is a good day to blog about fathers.
It seems to me that the world really focuses on women. Is motherhood the crowning achievement for women or the last resort of the unqualified and stupid? Should a woman be afforded all the same opportunities as a man? Should she work? Should she stay home? Can she vote? Does she have the right to an abortion? Such topics seem to saturate the media these days. Here's a fun quote:
"The status of women is one of the questions of the day. Socially and politically it forces itself upon the attention of the world. Some … refuse to concede that woman is entitled to the enjoyment of any rights other than … the whims, fancies or justice … men may choose to grant her. The reasons which they cannot meet with argument they decry and ridicule; an old refuge for those opposed to correct principles which they are unable to controvert. Others … not only recognize that woman’s status should be improved, but are so radical in their extreme theories that they would set her in antagonism to man, assume for her a separate and opposing existence; and to show how entirely independent she should be [they] would make her adopt the more reprehensible phases of character which men present, and which should be shunned or improved by them instead of being copied by women. These are two extremes, and between them is the 'golden mean.'"
That was written in 1872, folks. We've been at this for over 100 years and we still can't find the "golden mean."
So, what about men? In trying so hard to gain equality for women and motherhood, we've pushed right pass the importance of men and fatherhood. Parenting is a team effort and to have the best chance of success you can't leave the father on the bench.
I love this article by President Faust, a leader in the LDS church. He talks in it about marriage and the need for children to have both a mother AND a father. And most especially, how each family member needs to respect the roles and special capabilities that other family members have to offer.
Fathers are priceless when it comes to raising children. Children are more likely to learn empathy when they have an involved father. Children with involved fathers are less at risk/less likely to participate in things like drug use, alcohol abuse, premarital sex, become school drop-outs, or have gender identity issues. And those are just things off the top of my head that I remember from delving into such studies back in my college days. There are so many facets in children's lives that are improved or, in the case of detrimental aspects, the risk significantly lowered when the father is involved!
When it comes to fathers, I think I have been spoiled...in a good way:) My whole life I have been surrounded by prime examples of what men should be and how they should act. My family tree seems to be teeming with excellent men. And while I have only known a handful of them in my life, the results of good teaching in generations long past have obviously carried down through the ages. I feel linked to those fathers I have not known in this life and yet have had an impact on me because their examples have carried on in children, grandchildren, and beyond.
It has been said that children, especially daughters, will see their Heavenly Father much like they do their earthly father. A child who grows up with an abusive father sees God as unfeeling, unloving, and someone to fear. I have been lucky enough to have a wonderful father. Because of his influence, I known that while my Heavenly Father loves me, that he wants me to come back to him, that he knows what is best for me, and that I can trust him. I have not been raised to fear men and so I feel more able to have an open relationship with the Father who knows and loves me best. Thank you, Dad:)
How can I post about fathers without mentioning the father of my boys? I'm married to Mr. Awesome himself. A man who changes diapers without complaint, gets down on the floor to wrestle, washes the dishes, vacuums, and works hard to put a roof over our heads and provide for our needs and many of our wants. I might lament over the fact that he won't do bath time for the boys, but this man also cleans the bathroom (a chore I despise) and cleans it well! Yes, I'm as lucky as they come:) Our sons could ask for a better father, but they're not going to find one. I hope that as they grow up, my children realize the treasure that we have in the patriarch of our family.
And so, Happy Father's Day to all you amazing fathers out there. You may not get the thanks as often as moms do (and we don't get it often either;)), but your efforts do not go unrewarded and they are certainly not fruitless. Keep up the amazing work!