The Trials and Joys of Fatherhood
Once again, another year has gone by and we are celebrating another Father’s Day. I am all for celebrating it with lots of gusto. I am not saying this just because I am a father, I’m saying this because I like living life with lots of gusto.
I would not complain about this, because nobody would listen to my complaining anyway, but fathers really do not get their due share of praise and recognition. Father’s Day is not quite like Mother’s Day where people go out and spend billions of dollars for mothers, usually out of Dad’s pocketbook. By the time Father’s Day comes around that pocketbook has been picked bare.
If we are going to be fair about this business of celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day the two events should be separated by more than 30 days. My recommendation is, one year we celebrate Father’s Day and the next year we celebrate Mother’s Day. That would be fair.
Nobody has ever put into practice any suggestion of mine in the past so I am confident nobody will pay attention to this wonderful plan that I have. But it does have merit.
A more serene atmosphere surrounds Father’s Day. The reason is that the entire hullabaloo about Mother’s Day has completely exhausted people, particularly children, not to mention the “out-of-funds” situation.
Fathers do have many trials and tribulations they must go through. It is not easy being a father, believe me. It carries with it not only a lot of responsibility but also a lot of right down, honest-to-goodness, hard work.
Fathers are not weak like mothers. For example, fathers do not need lots of gifts and everybody telling them how good they are. We know how good we are. Mothers take a lot of credit along this line, but it is the fathers that have extended that credit line.
This is the reason why Mother’s say to their children when the children are in trouble, “Just wait until your father gets home.” Every father, exhausted from the day’s work, and anxious to relax for the evening, has to jump this hurdle upon arriving at his castle.
This has put into children the dread of their father coming home.
I insist that this is not fair. It is a ploy of mothers to make out fathers to be the bad guy while they reign as the good parent. All they are thinking about, throughout the entire year, is their Mother’s Day present.
In spite of this, there is a positive side that every father revels in. In fact, if the truth were known, no father wants to have a day set aside for his recognition. The only reason we have Father’s Day is because we have Mother’s Day and somebody somewhere along the line thought that was not fair.
However, fathers are at their best when people do not realize the contribution they make. Every father is confident in his own skin so that he does not always need reinforcement from the outside. He knows what his job is, and goes about doing it the best he knows how. He needs no bells or whistles to tell him that he is doing a good job. Down deep inside of him, there is the satisfaction of knowing that he is doing the best he can for his family. That is his reward.
The best thing the father does are those things that nobody recognizes.
The faithful father goes to work day after day earning a living for his family. When he gets his paycheck at the end of the week, he looks at it and knows that most of that belongs to his family. By the time the bills are paid and the children have had a little bit of entertainment, there is precious little left over for a father’s indulgence.
Nobody seems to notice this and every good father smiles because he is doing what is right for his family. Nobody ever shakes his hand and says, “Good job, dad.” And the thing about it is, no father expects it.
On Father’s Day, the good father will celebrate the day by taking his family out to a restaurant. The month prior, the family took mother to the restaurant and father was gracious enough to pick up the bill plus the tip. A month later, they are at the same restaurant only this time they are celebrating Father’s Day and after the meal, dad picks up the bill plus the tip. Nobody seems to notice.
However, the smile on the father’s face says it all. A good father is one who is taken for granted. A good father is one whose work goes on unnoticed. In fact, the only time the good father is noticed is after he is gone.
There is one thing fathers do and never get due credit. It is probably the most important aspect of the family and yet nobody recognizes it or ever thinks to say, “Thank you.”
The most important thing the father does for his family is to pick out the world’s best mother for his children.
The good father goes by what the Bible says. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 KJV).
It is tough being a father, but it is the greatest job in the world.
(The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship in Ocala, Fla. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.)