June 17, 2012
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Funny… it’s hard to even use the word “Father” in reference to dad. It’s such a heavy handed word that denotes a respect that we’d be embarrassed to give him. It’s politically incorrect to admit that he’s necessary even as we kick up the shame levels if he isn’t there. That he might be essential… that’s almost unthinkable.
I think the phrase “you just wait until your father gets home” is pretty telling, though. Every time a mom says that, there’s a fish somewhere that gets a bicycle. I know… on Mother’s Day, we hear all about how awesome mom is. But at some point, she needs to bring out the big guns, and “father” is it.
What’s going on with that? Well I’ll tell you. That stuff that men get criticized for in the sermons and relationship books has something to do with it. You know… men are insensitive. Their wives want to talk to them and he’s always trying to solve a problem– she really wants to feel encouraged and heard, but he just tells her how to fix things. But when the kids are in a dispute and about to come to blows and mom doesn’t know what to do… dad’s “worst” qualities suddenly become pretty useful. Funny how that is.
I think it turns out that all those masculine qualities turn out to be pretty essential to civilization, too. Determination. Justice. Courage. Discipline. Strength. Yeah, I know. Using those words in reference to dad is pretty lame. (“Dad? He’s the fat guy over there setting up Axis & Allies.”) It’s been a long time since “father” knew anything, much less what’s best. Most of us can go on at length about how bad it is that dad never really was a part of the family. We see kids that go so wrong and there’s always someone saying that they could have turned out different– they would have done so much different if they could have gotten just an ounce of approval from their dad….
How many times have I heard someone say something like that? What is that? Are people seriously asserting that just a little bit of attention from dad… just a little bit of interest and direction… that it has to come from dad… and that when it does… it can change the course of peoples’ lives…? Really? What is that, anyway? Hell, I don’t know. It’s there and it’s real, but rest assured, if you went to church today you sure didn’t hear about it.
It was a joke from the beginning, but this holiday gets more ridiculous with each passing year.