THEN BE A DAD!
by Andrew Heller (Flint Journal)
The Bible verse at the end of the article was added by the blog author.
The following article was printed in my local paper on Father’s Day weekend (2014). There certainly is a huge difference between merely being a Father and being a true Dad. There are lots of “Fathers” around, but “Dads” are becoming a rare commodity these days. Dads recognize and acknowledge that their children are gifts from God. Are you a “Father” or are you a “Dad”?
I saw this headline the other day: Father arrested in Atlanta; Detroit police search for missing kids. I don’t know what happened to the kids or the father because I can’t bring myself to read those kinds of stories. But I’m pretty sure whatever happened wasn’t good.
Which got me thinking: Maybe Father’s Day should be renamed Dad’s Day.
Dads and fathers, after all, are completely different things. As that headline proves, anyone with the right equipment can be a father. It takes a man, though to be a dad. In fact, I think many of society’s problems boil down to this: We have too many fathers and not enough dads. So much so that if I made a list of what differentiates a father from a dad I would start with a single word. “Stay”. Dads Stay. Fathers don’t.
Fathers make babies then run off. Or they stay just long enough to thoroughly confuse, hurt, and destroy the very people they helped bring into the world. What a better world this would be if the fathers who have no interest in being dads would think with their head and not their anatomy.
Dads, on the other hand, stick around through thick and thin. Even if there’s a separation or divorce, they find a way to be part of their kids’ lives.
Fathers check out from their families mentally and physically. Dads force themselves to check in, even when they don’t want to.
Fathers let mom do all the baby stuff. Dads help with it all – change diapers, clean up spit-up and walk a colicky baby in the middle of the night so mom can get some sleep. Dads know life is a dirty job.
A LOT MORE DIFFERENCES
Fathers put themselves first, time in and time out. Dads spend all Saturday helping make a science project that’s due Monday when the sun is shining and they’d rather be golfing.
Fathers stay home and watch the ballgame on TV. Dads sit out in “soccer weather” – a miserable concoction of sleet, rain and wind – because the kid has a game and he or she will always remember if you showed up or not.
Fathers yell, especially if their fathers were yellers. Dads work to become the type of dads they never had.
Fathers believe children should be seen and not heard. Dads know that children need to be not only seen and heard, but guided and respected, scolded and praised, coddled and pushed.
Fathers focus only on their kids bad behavior. Dads catch them, and praise them when they are being good also.
Fathers think they can behave any way they want. Dads keep in mind that kid’s are always watching and learning from them, for better or for worse.
Fathers can’t bring themselves to say “I love you.” Dads know that’s the most important thing a father can say to his kids.
Fathers can’t wait for the kids to grow up and leave the nest. Freedom! Dads secretly fear that day because that bird taking wing is the best thing they’ve ever done, and the best gift they’ve ever had in their lives.
Yup! The more I think about it, the more I think we have this Father’s Day thing all wrong. Why have a day celebrating fathers when it’s dads who deserve the recognition?
Fathers do not exasperate your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)