Once upon a time in the not-too-distant past, fathers had the same kind of reputation as drill sergeants and Physical Education teachers who bellowed at the troups, “Drop and give me 50 push-ups! Also, add ten laps around the track!” And with dads, the preamble usually began, “I’m telling your dad what you did! Wait until your father gets home!”
Other stereotypes of fathers may dominate the greeting card racks at this time of year.
They call the whole bunch fix-it guys and compliment them on their skills.
What if they aren’t? Do they still qualify as good fathers?
Ronnie doesn’t know how to put a new handle on the toilet or what a rubber plunger is used for besides a fixture in the bathroom. But Ronnie has always been an involved father. He and his wife raised their four children with Christian values from birth to adulthood. The couple taught their children to make choices that modeled integrity, responsibility, hard work, fairness, compassion and caring. Ronnie invested time from their first cries in the delivery room until now – as adults.
Another father who does know a toilet plunger from a tomatillo still doesn’t qualify as a fix-up guy. Anthony had a late start in life becoming both a first-time husband and father at age 42. As he became a dad, he grew in parenting skills, patience and love. But his passion is his daughter and grandchildren shows in the time and thoughtful deeds. Grandpa is remembered for cooking special meals to share with his grandchildren and reading them stories that left them tickled their funny bones. Those memories and experiences have become a legacy.
Make room today for many fathers who want to be there for their sons’ or daughters’ first cry to lifting them to the flight into adulthood.
A big thanks to the generations of fathers bound in parenthood with commitment, love, listening, and persistence.
What a difference in families, communities, and nations.
Today, “Wait ‘til your father gets home” isn’t what it used to be – thank goodness.
Dads, you touch the world!
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]