For All True Fathers Out ThereJune 16th, 2013
Unless you have been camped out under a rock for the last few decades, you are probably aware of the fact that fatherhood is in a state of dangerous decline. Data the US Census Bureau in 2011 found that one out of every three children is living away from their biological father. Research indicates that living without a clear father figure leads to an increased likelihood of poverty, depression, child abuse, and future criminal activity.
I remember when it used to be so common to hear celebrities complaining about how demanding their father could be. Now, it is far more common to hear about fathers who weren’t at all demanding, because they weren’t even around. With single parenting still on the rise and the question of gay adoption getting evermore attention, we have to ask the question, will future generations have any social concept of sacrificial fatherhood?
But I know they will, because of you, Dad. I believe fatherhood will be known in the future because you put your children ahead of your career, your golf-game, and even your own dreams. You committed to love one woman for the whole of your life, even when it would have been a lot easier to just run away. You gave up your boyhood when duty called upon you to become a man.
I believe the future will know the face of fatherhood because you were not willing to settle for just being my friend. You were willing to challenge me… to punish me… to forgive me… teach me right from wrong… to patiently draw the man out of your son and the woman out of your daughter. You were willing to spend time with me when the television would have been more interesting. You were willing to pray… to teach me to pray… to pray with me. The future will know fatherhood because you knew you weren’t good enough on your own. You turned to the Father of all Fathers for your strength.
The future will know the face of fatherhood because of the sons to whom you gave courage. In this world, there are many impostor men who have either forgotten the face of fatherhood, or never saw it to begin with. But your model calls upon them. Challenges them, expects them to rise from immaturity to a life of purpose. Here’s to you, Dad. The future will know the true meaning of fatherhood because of you.