Monday, June 20, 2005

On Father's Day

Gazing at the top of Humphrey's peak north of Flagstaff after three days of camping with my boys and other Dad's and their children ( we all gave the moms a break from the kids), I was reminded of the importance of fathers to children and and the nonstop attack on the role of men in raising children. There has been this continuous assault on the traditional understanding of the father, primarily instigated by the anti-life feminist types who seem angry at the world and everyone in it.
When we look at the last forty years and the current problems existing in the society, a lot of them can be attributed to the failure of men to be and act like real men. I can truthfully say that a lot of guys will avoid growing up if they don't have to (witness our previous president), and only do so if the women in their life demand it. But today's society sends so many mixed signals to young men and so many men have walked away from their responsibilities that it is understandable why there is so much confusion.
So let me pass on some advice from some of the real men I have known. It is pretty much common sense - but it seems that common sense is not very common anymore. These are not in any particular order.
1. Respect women at all times. Respect all the women in your life. Your mother, sister, wife. Treat every women as a person not as an object. Realize that in marriage there is a covenant that reflects the intimate relationship of God with His creation, with His people, with His Church.
2. The best way to show your sons how to treat women is to love your wife and treat her with the respect that explains why you married her in the first place. If young men will treat women with respect and as persons, the unwed pregnancy rate would drop like a rock.
3. God must be first in your life. If we have to answer to a higher authority, as opposed to our own weak selves, we are much less likely to do someone harm or act in a way that we will later regret.
4. Remember that children are a gift from the Lord. If you are blessed to be a dad, remember your children are not property, objects or people you are to live through. They are unique creations, created for a wonderful purpose. Our role as fathers is to help them find out their purpose in life.
5. Embrace the truth and do not be afraid to stand up for life and all that it requires. Men are built to be protectors of the truth, of the family, of the culture in general. We do not have to sit by and let others pervert it and destroy it. We have a responsibility, a duty, to promote that which is good and to confront that which is wrong.
6. Marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman and it is for life. Do not engage in sexual intimacy before marriage. It hurts you and the other person. If you truly love another, you are always concerned about the other first. If you love someone, you do not want to do them harm, be it emotional, physical or spiritual.
7. Enjoy the company of other men and do not fear strong friendships which are also reflections of the love of God.
8. Defend life. Protect the widow and the orphan (in modern terms, the unwed mother and her unborn child). Provide for the less fortunate. Always give more than just your money. Give your talent, and your treasure. The irony is that you do always get more than you give.
We took the road less traveled back to the Valley yesterday. We saw so much more of the State and I could not help but marvel at the natural beauty of the land. It is something that I was happy to show my sons on this a very special Father's day.
post script.
My father is very dear to me. He has shown me how to be a husband and a father. But more than that, he has shown me through his life how much God loves me. You see that is how important we dads really are. For our children will consider that the love of God is very similar to the love of their father. The way we treat our children reflects on the way they will think that God will treat them. So - and I know this is a tough assignment - we have to be conduits of the love of God to our children. Thus it is that God will be pleased with our lives.


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