Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mothers and fathers

Disclaimer: Now I'm going to say something that some may disagree with or misunderstand as soon as they've finished reading it. But instead of posting an immediate comment, give yourself twenty-four hours to think, first. alright? Let me preface my thoughts by saying that I feel fine; I'm not depressed, and I have some wonderful children — every one of whom I love dearly.

We've just recently passed "Mother's Day" — somewhere. I know because my inbox has been full of it, in one way or another: emails, newsletters, advertising spam, Christian powerpoint feelgood spam, and so on. I can only assume it is, or was, Mother's Day in America and that is the reason we are so full of it. That's nice. But let me go on.

We all know by now how important a place mothers have in our society, but it's nice to devote a time to remembering it, isn' it? But what about fathers? Well, I know that they have their day too, just like grandparents and everyone else Hallmark can convince us is worthy.

But what is the influence, really, of a father upon his child? Mothers' hands rock the cradle that rocks the world. Behind every great man... etc. I know that my mother's spirit still shapes me a little one way or the other for good or for bad.

But I wonder what the lasting effect is upon the child of a good father; someone who thinks, someone who tries, someone who loves.

I can only really speak of two fathers in this world: my own, father of four, and myself, a father of nine. So I must not generalize. But it seems to me that a father never really has or makes the time to spend with his children teaching them and training them as he'd like to. He is the disciplinarian, the final authority to be brought in when everything else has broken down. But as long as the mother can handle it, there is little room for him or his thoughts and ideas. The mother, who is with the child almost every waking hour, is the one to leave her brand. It is her ideas that carry the day, in the end.

Has a father no other role than to provide bread on the table and rent for the house? Should he back off and leave to the mother what she does best? Or is his input of some value?

We know who is to praise when things go well but who is to blame when things go wrong? What about when the child does not live up to the collective expectations of the parents? We all know and speak of a "mother's love" but whoever heard of a "father's love"?

Sure, our culture is full of empty expressions like "our fathers" and "the Church fathers" and so on but what does it really mean? Fathers are to be like God to a child. But what is God like? Tonight, I'm just wondering. Later, if I get it all figured out, I'll let you know the answers.

1 comment:

  1. I'm cheating. I will confess that I am not waiting 24 hours to post. You can wait 24 hours before approving the comment though, if you want to. :-) The reason I am not waiting is because I just recently heard Paul Washer preaching on this very thing. He was saying that we (in America) have devoted thousands, if not millions, into Sunday School programs, youth ministries, etc., instead of investing that money in training of our fathers. Dads are the ones who have been called by God to teach the children, yet, as you have said, over the past generations, that seems to have fallen onto either the shoulders of the mother, or on to secular teachers...very sad. And there is lots more that can be said.

    By the way...apparently South America and England celebrate "Mother's Day" as well!