TW Viewpoint | The Importance of FathersJune 13, 2018 | Winston Gosse
How are you going to celebrate Father's Day and what is so important about a father's example in the family?
On Father's Day we tend to become sentimental, buying gifts and cards which reflect a deep appreciation and "love for Dad."
Sentiments and efforts like this are good and are completely appropriate because the best dads are the ones who evoke such genuine feelings and positive recognition.
I am the father of 3 children, now grown with children of their own, and my wife and I are thankful grandparents of 8 grandchildren.
Both Mother's Day and Father's Day are recognized in our home, it is a nostalgic time to appreciate the value of our children and their recognition of us as their parents. Both my wife and I, as all 2 parent families, play vital roles in the raising of children.
Even with today's technology, the fact remains that it takes both a male and a female to make a baby. But it also takes both parents to raise the child.
My own father lived a life of greatness. But it was a different kind of greatness - not the kind of greatness where someone would write a biography about him and be on a best seller list. His was a quiet greatness and resoluteness to be there for His family and also to live his core values.
The time I spent with him was a time of security, and a time of pride that he was my father.
He taught us how to have clean fun, how to saw a board, the technique of how to hammer a nail, pull a nail and to even straighten a nail. Raising up most of his family during the depression required him to "waste not" -- a philosophy he passed on.
He was there providing a great measure of security, warmth and most of all, an example in the most important areas.
So yes, fathers play a special role in family growth, instruction, example and development-physically and also spiritually.
The Bible emphasises the importance of a father's guidance. "Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding" (Proverbs 4:1).
Too many children though, in today's society are growing up with precious little understanding of what a father's presence means in a home and what a loving dad's presence and impact means in a child's life.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, sadly 24 million children in America- that's one out of three -- live in homes absent of the biological father - he is just not there.
This is a crisis in America's homes as well as in the homes of Canadians, and it has an impact on nearly all of the social issues facing our society. Of course, there are examples of individuals who overcome the odds to become highly successful without the presence of a father. But that is not the norm.
According to the National Fatherhood Initiative website in an article written by Melissa Steward November 12 2013 children in father-absent homes are:
- Four Times More Likely to Live in Poverty
- More likely to suffer emotional and behavioural problems
- Seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen
- More likely to face abuse or neglect
The presence of a father, along with a mother, in raising and nurturing children is paramount for a successful society.
In the National Post a prominent Canadian newspaper, an article dated June 14 2016 was written by Barbara Kay titled "Want to help society? Let kids know their fathers"
She states: "Fatherlessness is a greater predictor than poverty for negative outcomes in children."
But we live in a society and culture that undervalues the importance of fathers and which too often is even dismissive of the male gender.
You don't need to be a social scientist to see the negative impact of the increasing number of children growing up in homes where the benefits of a responsible, mature male influence is simply not there.
So fathers, soon to be fathers or hope to be one day fathers --- don't let society undervalue your worth in the life of your children.
Your positive presence in their life has lasting value which is passed down to their children.
So this Father's Day consider it a privilege to be that positive influence for your offspring and enjoy their appreciation of you -- their dad on this your special day.