Saturday, June 16, 2012

Calling all Dad's

Tomorrow we honor Fathers. It sure is nice that we take a day for it at least once a year. Yeah, that is a bit sarcastic but with fair reason. You see, I believe that Fatherhood in the way that God intended it has been under attack for-----well, as far as we are concerned, since the garden of Eden.

You are probably asking what I mean at this point and since I possibly have your interest, let me further explain. The goal of the Enemy of our souls, since the beginning of time has been to destroy the Family because doing so, also destroys the fabric of the Church. When God created Adam, He gave him dominion over the Earth and all that was in it. That dominion was destroyed at the point of original sin which many will bristle occurred because of Eve. But the text is very clear, no matter which version of the Bible you read, that Adam was present at the time that Eve was tempted and did nothing to stop it and ended up blaming Eve and even God, Himself. Why? Because he had lost face in the sight of His Wife and His Creator and he simply did not know how to handle it.

You see, birthed within the heart of every Man is a desire to be respected. It is a God given desire. We were made to be Rulers and Leaders and we thrive on the respect that should come from that. Yes, I agree that respect still needs to be earned but it also needs to be given freely at appropriate time. In the Bible Men are told repeatedly to "love their Wives" but not once does it say for Wives to "love their Husbands." Why is that? Because Men and Women are designed to respond and desire things in different ways. Women are more emotional and respond to acts that demonstrate our emotions toward them. (yes, I do realize that I am generalizing) They can spend days weeks and even Months figuring out what color that they want to paint a room. Men just want the paint and want you to be impressed by how quickly they get the room painted or by quality way in which they paint it. Women spend time preparing meals with extra touches. Presentation is important, colors and variety are the order of the day. Men just want to know when it's ready and maybe be respected for "bringing the bacon" home in the first place.

Don't believe me? Why were Westerns so popular back in the early days of TV? Because the story's of the Frontier days were something that Men respected. Things were black and white, cut and dried. The more difficult the adversity the more we respected them. Now days the Sports Stars have replaced our Cowboys as the Heroes of the day, (and how sad is that) and when Someone hits one out of the Park or catches or throws the Touchdown pass or wins the game, we react. The high five, chest bump, knuckle bump, or even the slap on the Butt are signs of respect for what others do that represent who we are or want to be.

But wait, I started out saying that Fatherhood is under attack? What on earth am I talking about? Well, let's continue with the TV theme. Name me one modern day sitcom that shows Dad's in a positive light. Practically every one will depict the Dad as a bungling moron that barely knows to come in out of the rain. Have you come up with one yet? I haven't. So let's back up a few Generations to the early days of TV. Anyone remember a show called "Father knows best?" How about "Leave it to Beaver" or "My three Sons." Shows that depicted Dad's in a positive light and showed respect to Fatherhood and even manhood. I know, I know, you are probably saying lighten up because today's Shows are comedy's and shouldn't be taken seriously but to be honest, there were some pretty good laughs in the few shows I mentioned and they didn't come at the expense of being a Man.

Fatherhood is a tough thing. When you think you have it figured out, you are completely lost. When you feel like you fail you will probably be surprised to find that you haven't. The demands of the times we live in are tough. Traditional roles that seem to be continually redefined leave Men feeling hopeless and even worse, helpless but we usually have too much pride to talk about it so we bottle our frustrations up and withdraw. The Women that thrive on displays of Love misinterpret the withdrawing and as a result they end up not feeling loved and the result many times, ends up being a divorce, simply because we don't understand what each other thrives on.

The Bible gives pretty clear direction on how to handle the Husband/ Wife relationship and if we return to it, we return to healthy relationships. (btw- God's definition of marriage has never and will never change) Men are told to treat their Wives "as the weaker vessel." Guys, it is important to note that they are never actually called the weaker vessel but are to be treated as such. What does that mean? Handle them with extra love and extra care in the same manner as you would a delicate piece of glass. Simply put, TREAT THEM SPECIAL! Show your love for them at every opportunity and never miss a chance to tell them how much you love them. Women are told to "submit" to their Husbands and man, do we Men like that but when you dig into the meanings of the original Greek, it's not at all what we have made it. It is all about RESPECT. In fact, the imagery of the two are quite like this. As Men we are to place our Wives on Pedestal's, showing our love and care at every opportunity and Ladies, the proper response to such treatment as odd as it sounds, is to bow in honor. If you have that imagery in your head the you realize that you end up at the same level.

I was fortunate to have and still have a great example of what it means to be a Man, a Husband, a Father and a man of God in my Father. He was never perfect but he exemplified what manhood was and to this day I have an utmost respect for who he is. When I see what he has been through and still going through and still see the integrity and honor shining through I have thankfulness for having a bar set before me. We almost lost him with his first heart attack at age 35 and I often wondered if he would be around for the milestones of my Life but he took every set back and fought back and even a Motorcycle accident at age 65 couldn't take him out. Today, at age 71, he is still setting the bar and I'm still climbing.

So Dad's, let me be among the first to say to you, Happy Fathers Dad! I honor you all and respect who and what you are. Keep climbing, the view is worth it.