In Canada there is an ideological push to not celebrate Father’s Day anymore, since a lots of dads are not around, or there are “new” family models that do not include a father in its composition.
Now, the fact that many men who have conceived children are not around is not a reason not to celebrate father’s day. Today we celebrate those men who took responsibility for their actions and raised their children in a loving and caring environment. These are the men we celebrate today, those that knowing they were not perfect, still gave everything for their wives and children, and even grandchildren for older dads.
The irresponsible men who beget children and take off, those are not worthy of the word Father. Fatherhood is sacred, and only real men are worthy of it, for God the Father is the model of all fathers. Those fathers are the ones we celebrate today. The fathers who stand by their children and family, and the fathers who took someone else’s children under their care, and those spiritual fathers that have helped so many in their needs. These are real men, and we need many of these.
When they disappear, then we will stop celebrating father’s day. But I do trust that as long as there is a human race, there will be true men out there giving everything for their wives, children, and the rest of us. To you all, Happy Father’s Day!
Now, there is still a problem with the lack of fathers present.
I- The Problem
Nowadays, the world is suffering from many crises. So many people have no jobs; the economy is down, energy crisis, violence, wars, abortion, the attacks on the family , anti-natural unions given the name of marriage, and so many other problems we could mention. Now, of all these crises, we can say that the major one, and having the worst consequences (for from this one derive many of the others), is a fatherhood crisis.
According to a recent study, in some places here in the US, only 47% of children live with both of their parents. Fatherhood and motherhood are a vocation. What is happening with this great vocation, a reflection of God’s Fatherhood? We can mention a few reasons, such as personal vices, and selfishness, which have as consequences problems such as divorce, adultery, abandonment of children, or home, single-parent families, and many other consequences. In most cases, these parents have also suffered abandonment and abuse in their own families, and have never been able to overcome these personal conflicts, so that the chain never stops. There is also the systematic attack on the family by ideological and political movements that destroy the authority of parents in the family. We can also mention here feminism and the gay culture as a danger to the family, and therefore to the human race. Fatherhood is under attack.
II- The Solution
What is the answer to such a problem? We have to recover the figure of the father. That means that all fathers should learn how to become good, holy fathers and fight to achieve it, even though they will find a lot of opposition out there in the world. In order to recover the ideal of fatherhood, we have to remember three things:
- First, fatherhood is a reality of the natural order, that belongs to human beings as such, and therefore it is essential to society. If there are no true fathers, then our society will collapse.
- Second, fatherhood is a gift and a divine vocation, and a responsibility before God. If children are a gift from God, then that means that parents will have to answer before God with respect to how they raised their children.
- Third, all fatherhood comes from God: “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). Therefore, fathers will learn how to become good fathers by imitating God the Father.
Let us look then at the divine example given to us by God the Father, as taught by Christ, and let us learn from Him what a good father is, and what a good father is not.
III- What a Good Father is
- A father always loves first: “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
- A father is able to forget himself for the sake of his children: “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
- A father transmits life, truth, and goodness: “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
- A good father is always compassionate and merciful: “Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
- A father corrects and educates him whom he loves: “Endure your trials as ‘discipline’; God treats you as sons. For what ‘son’ is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are without discipline, in which all have shared, you are not sons but bastards” (Hebrews 12:7-8).
- A good father defends the lives of his children, especially their spiritual welfare. In the Last Supper Jesus prays: “When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction” (John 17:12).
- A father is ready to give up his life for his family’s sake: “Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.’ This was to fulfill what he had said, ‘I have not lost any of those you gave me’.” (John 18:8-9).
- A good father is always attentive and always listens to what is said about his children and talks only when it is prudent to do so. St. Paul: “Brothers, I could not talk to you as spiritual people, but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were unable to take it” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2).
- A good father becomes a friend of his children. Last Supper: “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father” (John 15:15).
- A good father works to feed his children: “Now I am ready to come to you this third time. And I will not be a burden, for I want not what is yours, but you. Children ought not to save for their parents, but parents for their children. I will most gladly spend and be utterly spent for your sakes. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?” (2 Corinthians 12:14-15).
- A father teaches by word and example: “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do” (John 13:15).
- A good father prays for his children: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are. . . . I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word” (John 17:11.20 )
- A good father teaches his children how to pray: “He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father’…” (Luke 11:1-2).
- A good father loves his wife: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her. . . . Each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:25.33).
IV- What a Good Father is not
- A good father does not hate his family: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love” (John 15:9).
- A father does not abandon his family. Last Supper: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).
- A good father never provokes his children to anger: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).
- A good father does not reject suffering. On the contrary, he embraces the cross and teaches his children to do so: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).
- A good father does not trust in himself, but in God alone: “Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).
- A good father does not abandon his wife; he remains united to her for the good of their children. God is ever faithful “If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).
Happy Father’s Day!