In school our morning prayer read ‘Our father in heaven…’ The Bible describes Him as one who cares for us in such a way that takes care of even our smallest needs, and takes away all of our fears. That is probably the most fundamental aspect of being a father: he protects and takes care of his children.
A father’s way of expressing his care and love is unique; he does this like a man. I believe that though men and women are equal in dignity, there remain many differences between men and women. Equality is definitely not sameness, or is it? Over our evolution as humans, society has made great efforts to articulate the identity and dignity of women and unintentionally bamboozled the same for men!
Men are said to be antagonistic, while women tend to be more fostering. This isn’t to say that men don’t love or that women aren’t strong, but that the love and strength of men and women are expressed in these different ways.
My father said, a man’s “ferociousness” needs to be lived out, or he’ll never be happy, always trying to become someone he isn’t. Sometimes people try to make men less forceful and more fostering, more like women. While men can definitely learn a lot from women, ask him not to unlearn and suppress aspects of their masculinity.
Men denied the opportunity to express their aggressiveness in constructive ways, often tend to abuse it in destructive ways. Some react by fighting, we see that 24×7 on our new channels. Others make strategic retreats, looking for another place to exercise their masculinity by abandoning their spouses and children, while others retreat without ever leaving home, perhaps by having a mistress or throwing themselves into their careers.
“Fear no one.” is the one rule fathers live by. Fathers love by being aggressive for their families. My father is not afraid of outsiders who try to hurt or mislead his children, and he’s not afraid of his children; not afraid to love them by teaching, correcting and disciplining them.
He is a man by laying down his life for his family, not by running away. And he aggressively seeks to know when his children are near trouble, and he protects them.
Dad taught me to be caring, loving, fearless and protective.
Well, Dad taught me to be a man!