In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to take a moment and express my heart about the most important leadership role a man can hold. Fathers are a critical component to the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of their children. Fatherhood is not a title or a position that should be taken lightly. It is a serious job and should be considered one of the most important roles a man can hold. Fatherhood is more than a title in the family. It is a way of life. It is a responsibility that should be taken very seriously.
As a father of four, I will tell you that I do not always get it right. In fact, I feel I make more mistakes as a father than I do getting things right. Fatherhood is not easy, but it is extremely worth it. My children are a blessing in my life, and they help me grow as a man, husband, and father on a daily basis. They hold me accountable to my choices and words. Even though my children may frustrate me with their choices and actions at times, my love for them and my gratefulness for them will never cease. But let me go back to my first statement; I don’t always do fatherhood right. I make numerous mistakes, and at times, I make numerous mistakes throughout the day.
I have learned to be aware of what I say, how I act, how I respond, and much more. Being a father takes a lot of reflecting. I find myself reflecting on my actions as a father almost everyday. I also tend to get down on myself knowing that what I have done or said could have been avoided if I had better self control. I have seen defeat in my children’s eyes due to the ways I have responded to them or addressed them when they didn’t make the most stellar choices. I have seen disappointment in my children’s eyes after certain choices I have made as a father. But I have seen the joy and pride in my children’s eyes when I do right by them.
I have learned that my actions have consequences, and the older my children get, the fewer chances I have at keeping the wall between myself and my children from being built. Children want to be loved. They want to be heard and accepted. They want to be encouraged and accepted. But most importantly, they want time. My children ask me on a weekly basis when we get to have a “special date”. They don’t want to spend time with me and their siblings, rather they want to spend time with just me. They want my undivided attention. They want to know that they can have me all to themselves. They need to know that no matter how busy life may get for “Dad”, he will always make time for them. I have grown to love my “special dates” with each of my “babies”. It is during these times I have the opportunity to know and understand each of my children on a more personal level. It also gives me time to speak truth and life into my children.
A father’s job is not just to be seen, but to be present. It is a conscious act of being present for their children. Fatherhood is not about a title or position, but how we fathers treat our children. It is our job to show them what true love and respect looks like. It is our job to teach them what it means to take ownership and responsibility for actions and choices. It is our job as fathers to show our sons how to lovingly and respectfully treat a woman; their mother. It is our job as fathers to show our daughters how a real man should treat them with honor, respect, and dignity. It is our job as fathers to instill in our children the importance and value of hard work and discipline. It is our job as fathers to lead our children in the ways that are right. It is our job as fathers to be the example of what is right, honorable, respectful, and loving for our children.
We will not always get it right, and there will be days that we will mess up more than we get it right. However, that is not an excuse to lower the expectations of fatherhood. Rather, we must rise to expectations of what a father really should be. We must humble ourselves before God and our children and try again. We must show our children that failing is part of life and is meant to teach us how to become better. We must uphold the responsibility of being a father by being present for our children, investing in them wholeheartedly, and showing them their value and importance in this world. It doesn’t matter how many times we fail, we must rise again, learn from our mistakes, and try again.
If you are a father, I implore you to take your job as a father seriously. I implore you to invest into your children’s lives and give them an example worth following. Show them how valuable they are and love them unconditionally. Speak life into them and teach them to do what is right. Learn from them and do whatever it takes to become the best father you can be. Some of you may not have had a good example of what a father should be, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to fail as a father. Hold yourself accountable and don’t lower the bar of expectations, rather do everything in your power to reach that bar. When you make a mistake, humble yourself, learn, forgive yourself, and try again. Be a father that leads with compassion, integrity, and self discipline. And never forget how important your role as a father truly is.
Happy Father’s Day!