I know every daddy is not internationally acclaimed; it’s not even possible as there might not be enough days on earth to read all their names, let alone the baby fathers and absent dads. However there was one thing I’ve always prayed for on father’s day and I keep praying about it.
For every child, a daddy is not just about being a biological dad, just like you can have a hundred kids and never be a daddy; but a dad should be someone who is loving and kind, someone who listens and encourages you. Being a father I believe is one of the most rewarding roles a man can play in a child’s life, especially as a girl from my point of view. She plucks courage from him, true definition of love and mostly good leadership qualities to look for when she is ready to marry.
Even president Obama said that being a father was “sometimes my hardest, but always my most rewarding job,” and called on other fathers to make spending time with their kids a priority even when times are tough.
For some dads like mine, they quit as soon as they have donated the sperm while others identify that the role lasts a lifetime. I had often asked myself the question, why my father is who he is; (I wish I could say was, but does a leopard shed its spot?) it’s too late to change the hand of the clock. But there is something I can still change, and that is my prayer every father’s day; that my kids can say to me:
‘Thanks mum for choosing the best dad in the world.’ Yeah it’s not God that gives the best dad, it’s the mum that makes that choice- God approves the choice.
I aspire to provide for my children’s stability, a man that they can proudly call dad- a reliable and hardworking man of integrity; a man who knows how lead (not control) a home (wife and kids), whose shoulder we can all cry on (not simultaneously of course) and a Godly man (no half-baked Christian).
If you had asked me when I was a child, to list what dads like to do and you’ll surely say these top five:
- A man painted with a tie, glasses, shirt, and a dark ironed pair of pants. Check!
- Fascinated by cars and more cars? Check!
- Tv remote stuck to their palms because they are obsessed with football. Check!
- Show off their manly strength. Check!
- Control, control and some more control in the home. Check!
I grew up thinking men are the most useless species yet, why are they on earth for crying out loud? While I raged about the absence of my biological father, I appreciated the presence of my brother who became my best friend even at a young age as he did a make shift father figure in my life- by being my best friend. This gave me confidence at a very young age and I could stand up to any man and not be intimidated. I still do!
Sadly the question I ask many young women in a relationship becomes a rhetoric question;
Where do you see yourself with him in 10 years? I get a taken aback that the answers I get do not usually include the man playing an active fatherly role in the children’s life. My worry doesn’t stop here, as many of these young women just picture the beautiful wedding day with the Mr right and nothing more. Have you seen how/if he plays with kids? Have you checked his relationship with his young siblings if he has any? How much does he talk about his future plans and most importantly will he teach them to know God. No offence that you are reading this on father’s day but we need a dollop of truth sometimes.
On a lighter note I noticed some wonderful dads-to-be last week when I had my two-year old cousin, to my surprise, fatherly instincts were sprouting from these young men – I went to a corner and watched them; each related to the child with his ability and I knew the one who get easily irritated among them. Amazing things happen when you leave a man with a little child- he becomes soft.
I sincerely think, that father’s day should be a celebration of real dads not absent dads, or trophy dads (the ones who show up on your graduation day or wedding day), real men not the one who raised his hand on you and called you the B word and told you to F, off; not the ones who pretend to be your friend only to get under your pants. A celebration of men who have stepped into a father’s shoes at a young age, uncles who are not related to you by blood but who can go the extra mile just so you can smile again; your male friends who have supported you and have wiped your tears. Boyfriends who have stood by you when you can’t even find your girl friend’s number, he has taken you shopping and has a genuine interest in your future, and that son of yours whose father left him or in prison- you can build the father in him; the house mate who fixed you a coffee because you had a hangover, the lover boy who drives and he doesn’t mind giving you a lift, the friend who never forgets your birthday even though he is now your ex; your brother-in-law who became your sister’s knights in shining armour; and most of all, the dad in the house who has courageously stood by you, I tell you he has thought about walking away many times, but he thinks about you. Tell him how much he means to you and build that relationship and make it stronger. Talk about how to build it.
If you are married and reading this, let your daughter(s) spend the day with their dad, and build that strong bond NOW! You can do yours at night*wink*