In many Christian denominations worldwide, today is celebrated as Father’s Day. Fatherhood is considered a profound phenomenon that calls for a great measure of accountability on those who knowingly assume the task or have it foisted upon them. In all cases, it is a function, a vocation, not simply a title or a name. A father is the progenitor, the source of identity, and the one who enables the children to have a definite sense of self. He is the primary provider, the sustainer, the protector, the guardian, the teacher, and the role model of those who call him father.

 

 

He is the emotional anchor and the wellspring of stability for the children, the wife, and others who live with them. The father inspires the children, nurturing their dreams and aspirations and encouraging them to reach for the stars and pursue their passions. He instils confidence and builds self-esteem, paving the way for his children’s success.

 

 

In all cultures, fatherhood is characterised by love, tenderness, discipline, decisiveness, courage and sacrifice. Ideally, a father possesses an innate instinct to prioritise the safety and well-being of their family members over their own, ensuring that the wife and the children are shielded from the vagaries of life. With their effort to provide for the family, fathers teach their children the value of hard work, responsibility, diligence, integrity and perseverance and, in this way, equip the children with the required tools to navigate life’s inevitable challenges and disruptive circumstances.

 

 

In our view, the fatherhood vocation is an invitation to live out family life and the human potential for responsibility, commitment, deferred gratification, courage, and sacrificial (selfless) love.

Yet, in our opinion, the number one crisis in society appears to be the absence of a role model for fatherhood. Many young people today are “fatherless,” not because they have no male parent alive, but because their male parent has either been completely absent from their lives, or they have been a source of scandal and trauma. They are remembered only with pain, regret, and resentment.

 

 

Thus, often lacking models of positive masculinity to emulate in their growing years, many young men are today struggling with a variety of character defects that amount to negative masculinity, including the psycho-emotional abuse of their wives, actual physical battering, and remorseless infidelity. Many young men have little or no sense of commitment to their families or responsibility for the children they have brought into the world.

Credit: Leadership Newspapers.

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