It takes a man to to be a real father, in ways so much more important than biological contributions. Once upon a time, most men learned and valued the responsibilities they would assume with the birth of a child, and they planned and prepared for it. Real men were usually not only providers, protectors, but also the primary source of power and strength in a secure family. They were often the first to nudge the chicks out of the nest, to push them to be perfect, and to make sure they were prepared for life, and for a harsh world.
How times have changed.
Here at the Treehouse we talk a lot about politics and how to regain what we’ve lost, not so much politically, but the kind of people we are, the kind of nation we have become. I see a lot of good ideas come across these pages, from involvement in local politics and voting precincts to driving people to the polls, to active involvement in party politics.
I don’t see a lot of talk about the long term prospects, and real change. How about back to the basics fatherhood? How about helping children be secure in a safe and loving family? How about teaching little boys to mow grass and change tires and paint their room, as well as keep that room clean and iron a shirt? Yes, iron a shirt, because presentation and neatness still matter whether you like it or not.
How about teaching them that it really is okay to be a man, and they don’t need any woman to tell them the boundaries on their masculinity, as long as it is a healthy, protective, giving, legitimately strong, real masculinity? How about teaching your daughters what exactly they should expect, no, demand, in a man they contemplate a serious relationship with?
How about making sure you teach your children Christian values and principles and make church services as big a priority as that ballgame?
From last year’s post, I’d like to copy some of my thoughts, because I just can never find finer examples of fatherhood than my husband and father in law. Some things bear repeating.
I have been privileged to know some of the best fathers of our time, and especially would like to mention my appreciation and pride for those in my own life who have made the most difference to me and our family.
I was blessed to marry a man who became a wonderful father to our three boys. My sons are three of the best dads out there, under really challenging circumstances. Two of them have step children they love and cherish, nurture and guide.
My father in law was an epic man among men. He had great faults but his virtues eclipsed them. He was a man of immense strength, strength of mind, character, body, and above all else, faith. His heart was even bigger than his booming laugh.
If I had a fortune I would confidently place a wager that no one could ever say he backed down from his principles or failed to do what he saw as right in the face of any test. Not one time, not ever. Good or bad, hard or easy, he stood in the face of any challenge to right as he believed it to be.
Of course he passed those traits on to his children, all eight of them, and he influenced every one who entered his orbit with the sheer force of his beliefs and his do or die attitude. He was one of only a few people I’ve personally known who really would give you the shirt off of his back.
He had many roles in life, many skills, a man who could do many things, fix almost anything that needed fixing, a voracious reader, self taught on many things with a questing mind and staggering intellect. He knew the Bible cover to cover and could always offer compelling proofs for his beliefs.
Of all those roles, the one most who knew him saw him most at home in, and the one I believe he most identified as, was Daddy.
Here’s to you Jr. Of all the people I look forward to spending eternity with, laughing with, loving with, you are up there. I so look forward to one of your big enthusiastic hugs again.
Aaron Tippin – You’ve Got To Stand For Something (Official Video)