by Gray Graham
There is nothing like the love of a father. Have you ever seen a woman's eyes light up just from mentioning her father? Have you ever seen a man have a look of awe when remembering his father? Our fathers are our cornerstones in life but it seems many have forgotten the love of a father.
Growing up, I never knew how many people didn't have their father in their lives. Growing up, even if your parents weren't married everyone talked about their father and what he meant to them. People would spend holidays, birthdays, and time at church with their fathers. They knew their father loved them and it was something that they needed and wanted.
It was not until I was well into adulthood that I began to meet people that had no father in their lives. Not only didn't they have a father in their lives, many had never had a conversation with their father, and too many didn't even know who their father was.
In today's world a father is considered something extra, instead of something needed. For many a father is a symbol of all that is wrong with men, instead of a loving protector and guardian. Today you are more likely to hear about deadbeat dads, instead of loving fathers, but are there really a lot of deadbeat dads out there?
Recent studies have shown that even when fathers do not live in the home with their children, they still spend a lot of time being fathers to their children. Not just taking them to ballgames and amusement parks, but being primary care givers helping with homework and their daily lives.
Then there are the so called deadbeat dads. Those that society would want us to believe are worthless men that have abandoned their children but we are seeing that this is a false. A recent study that was looking into the hardships of single mothers discovered something interesting.
They assumed that many single mothers were having a hard time because they weren't receiving child support from the father. What they discovered was that the fathers weren't paying child support because they didn't have any money to pay child support, but they were providing other support that the mothers and the government never acknowledge.
Turns out these fathers were providing all the things that their children needed: food, clothes, etc which was significantly more than their child support payments even if it meant the fathers did without.
And that is what father's do. They love their families and they take care of their needs. They don't need any cards or gifts. They don't need any dinners out. They just want to know that their families are safe and well. That is the true essence of being a man, to protect their families.
But this is not the image many have of fathers today. TV and movies have made being a father a joke. He is the buffoon that is always doing something stupid. A clueless individual that can't manage to do anything without his wife telling him first. We have made fathers wear dresses, be afraid of bugs, unable to work, and crying for the smallest of things.
We have made the man that is a strong loving father a myth. I believe more people believe in the Easter Bunny than believe in a loving father. Sadly in today's world the Easter Bunny might be more realistic for many than a strong, loving father, especially one married to your mother.
I can't tell you how many times I am asked by a woman, why can't a man be a man anymore. The answer is simple they are no longer taught to be a man by a man in our society. The message that a boy receives today is a lot different than the one he has heard in the past and probably what he would hear in other parts of the world today.
There is nothing wrong with being a manly, man. It is after all what men are suppose to be. Men are designed to be be tough and to take abuse. They are made to make tremendous sacrifices to provide and protect their families. They are suppose to be the authority figure because they represent power in their families.
Fathers are the other half of the parent equation. They bring different qualities to the table than mothers but are just as important. They are a much needed ingredient in the lives of their children, one that is much needed and loved. We need to remember that we need to love of our fathers too.