Father in the Home

Check out this article posted on CNN.

Amen. And I’m not really sure I have much to add, but you know me well enough by now to know that I’m going to anyway.

As a father, I take very seriously my relationship to my children and my shared responsibilities as parent. I was fortunate to have a great dad. An incredible dad. As I’ve grown, I’ve tried to emulate his actions, and I’m discovering that nothing he did was truly special except to say that he did them. He led our family in prayer and scripture study. He led in work. He was available and ready to help us. And really, that isn’t any more or less than how it should be for all families if fathers would own up to their responsibilities. The thing that makes my father uniquely special and great is that he did the things he was supposed to and did them well.

Few things truly make me angry, but bad fathering is one of those things that immediately sets me off. And I’m as guilty as the next guy when it comes to losing patience and saying and doing the wrong things, and believe when I say that I’ve beaten myself up severely for some things I’ve done. But I’m trying to do better, and I do my best to have a special relationship with my kids.

Few things make me happier than the special bond I have with Katherine. It’s indescribable, so I won’t even try, but it’s there. And I’m enjoying the bond that Myron and I are forming, although it’s happening much more slowly than it did with Katherine. I’m not sure why that is, and it really frustrated me early on, but I will persevere.

The Proclamation to the World: The Family teaches that a father’s role is threefold: Preside, Provide, and Protect. I think Provide and Protect are fairly self-explanatory, but I think there is a disconnect when it comes to Presiding. Preside does not mean rule or lord over or any other number of synonyms. It means lead. It means that fathers need to stand up and take charge of their household. It means they need to be real men. It means they need to sit in council with their wives and jointly work on their marriage, their home, and their family. It means they need to be approachable so that their kids come to them for answers and guidance.

It means that you have to be there as Elder Hales said several years ago. And being there isn’t a simple physical presence; it’s involvement, action, and awareness. Being there is a term of motion, not rest. Being there means you seek to be a part of what is around you.

One of the saddest things I’ve ever witnessed was in the library here in town. I was there with Katherine getting a book. A few feet away was a boy around 8 working on a homework assignment on one of the computers. All of a sudden, a dad, huffing and puffing, came marching in to the library, back-handed his son across the face, and started yelling at him because he had missed his TV show while waiting in the car.

Shame on him for such a disgusting display of selfishness (see, I’m getting mad).

Dads… It’s time to stand up and be a real man. Anything less of you is a waste.

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One Response to Father in the Home

  1. Sarah Bailey says:

    This is so great.

    There was a baby blessing this Sunday. I was impressed when the father strode to the front of the chapel, daughter in arms, handed the wee one to his father-in-law and then participated in the one way a Priest can; he held the microphone. Sure, it would be awesome if he could pronounce the blessing for his next child, but he was there, standing before everyone communicating, “this is my daughter, I love her, I’m here for her.” Absolutely beautiful.

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