Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Are Dads That Important?

This past Sunday was Father's Day and, as a dad, it was a fun day for me. The kids greeted me with a barrage of balloons and their own homemade cards. And this year Father's Day was extra special since Lori and I just found out that we're expecting our fourth child in January. I'm also thankful that unlike many I know, I have a good dad that I love and think fondly of. It's so disheartening that for so many men and women Father's Day is a difficult day rather than one of celebration.

Unfortunately, many in our society have not been raised with what I see as a necessity -- a loving, caring and protective dad. Because so many were raised without a dad in the house, it has become all too common to think of dads as a luxury or an add-on. Many single moms have done a courageous and selfless job of raising their children without a husband in the home. But moms are not dads and vice versa. Young boys need a father to teach them to be a man and young girls need a father to teach them how to be properly loved by a man. There is no substitute.

As a father, I know that my wife cannot play the role that I play anymore than I can be the same kind of mommy that she can. Though many men have failed in their responsibilities to the children they have fathered, I was still concerned by what Albert Mohler recently reported on his blog. It seems that Hallmark, in its card line targeted to African Americans, has made a card entitled "For Mother on Father's Day."

As Dr. Mohler says,

"There is nothing wrong with honoring mothers on any day, but our society is not strengthened by confusing mothers and fathers. To the contrary, in doing so we not only sow the seeds of our own cultural dissolution, we bring undeniable harm into the lives of millions of children. This is all done in the name of sensitivity, of course."

You can read Dr. Mohler's full comments on this here. And in many respects, this is an indictment again of those of us that are men and how women have been forced to fill our shoes when we haven't stepped up to the plate in order to fulfill our God-given roles. This reminds me of the awesome responsibility that it is to be a dad and that this privilege should not be taken lightly. I have so much respect and admiration for the men that I know that didn't have a positive father figure in their life, but are still committed to being godly husbands and fathers themselves. May your tribe increase!

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