Disclaimer: I’m a little sensitive about this… but you’ll find out why if you read on! If I remember correctly, about three weeks prior to Mother’s Day, I started seeing blogs, facebook posts, hallmark commercials, articles, and ads about mother’s day… about how we need to appreciate mothers and stories and stories about how awesome mothers are! Don’t get me wrong… I don’t mean to underplay the role of mothers! I think mothers have very difficult jobs, and there are many women that are worthy of being recognized. Many mothers work tirelessly… and I applaud them! Now, you have to understand that I grew up without a mother since age 8. She passed away suddenly, and it literally took the whole village of extended family to raise me! I often say I was raised by many mothers… but I was raised by one father. He probably had no clue how to raise a pre-adolescent girl… but he tried his best. He made a lot of mistakes (we can both admit it now) but he did what he believed was best. He made me instant noodles for breakfast. He tried to act cool in front of my girlfriends and embarrassed me. He was mean to all my guy friends and embarrassed me. He let me drink 3-5 cans of soda per day. He made me sneak in popcorn to movie theaters. He let me have lots of junk food. So my dad was far from an ideal picture of the perfect father. However, he was always there. When I was physically separated from him during elementary school years for 4 years, he called me every saturday night (this is the 80’s… so that was a big deal). Whenever he traveled, he brought back earrings and necklaces for me. He tried his best to talk to me, guide me, and even give me girly advice (yeah, he wasn’t very good). He cooked for me. He bought me clothes (although his taste wasn’t always the best). He took me to hair salons to get my hair done. He tried his best to be the mom and the dad. He went into overtime to make sure I was well taken care of. He never complained… he just tried his best. And even to this day, he apologizes for not having done enough for me. He’s far from perfect (and I know that really well…) but he’s the closest thing to a mother I’ve always wanted. So I get sensitive that fathers don’t get the acclaim and the celebration that mothers get. I know that my dad had to step up to his role because he had a daughter without a mom… and he probably never imagined that he’d have to do all those things. However, it’s one week before Father’s Day, and I have yet to see something out there talking about fathers (except for bunch of email ads to sell father’s day ties, shirts, and golf accessories). Call me biased, but I think father’s job is just as stressful and difficult. They just have different stresses, and they deal with them differently from mothers. But that shouldn’t diminish how we celebrate fathers. Fathers are more often portrayed as being lazy, sitting back and watching tv with beer in their hands, etc. But even if it’s done in humour gest, how often do we see pictures of good and involved fathers in comparison to man’s man lounging in mancave? I know that there are more households with mothers than fathers. But get this… On Father’s Day of 2009, I was at a church in Khayelitsha Township in Western Cape, South Africa. Because fatherlessness is a prevalent issue in many townships, they really wanted to celebrate fathers!!! The whole service was led by fathers! The praise team all consisted of fathers! They called all the fathers up on stage to sing, dance, and to pray for them. They really wanted to elevate, celebrate, bless, and encourage the fathers! It was one of the coolest things I had experienced. And then the little kiddos came up on stage, and sang a song that moved me to tears. The lyrics said: “we pray for you, you pray for us, we love you, we need you to survive.”
Elevate & Celebrate Fathers…
We often talk about importance of the role of fathers… but I don’t think it’s elevated enough. I don’t think it’s celebrated enough! What if we raised the bar! What if we elevated and celebrated fathers as much as mothers! What if we blessed, appreciated, empowered, and encouraged fathers as much as mothers! I wonder what that would do to our perception of fathers in the society…
3 thoughts on “Elevate & Celebrate Fathers…”
thank you. now that i am a father and totally involved as best as i can to raise our twins. i appreciate this blogpost. thank you.
glad you can appreciate it!!! you can encourage other fathers to do the same… 🙂 and we can celebrate you all! 🙂
wow, your dad is amazing, Glo! yes, dads do so much and yet are so under-appreciated. i echo your words, the words of the song, that we need to pray for our dads to be the leader of the household and the face of God for our children.