To explain what I feel a good father should be, I must first point out some negative things and hope that they will not only alarm you who are reading this text but also give you a better idea of what we are up against. In other words, to tell what a good father is, I believe I must first pursue the bad direction in which our fatherly images have traveled in the past few decades.
People can say that alarmists have always stood up and said that things were not right with our young people and pointed to the father images and the homes in general as the culprits. Yes, this has been done many time in various parts of the world and during a great many different time periods.
Today we could ask almost anyone on the street what a good father is really like, and unless we were speaking to the very few individuals who seem to think that we need a strong family leader, the answers would probably be somewhat shocking. They might tell us that the father is the one who usually tried to get the sympathy of the other family members and especially the attention of his wife. He may do this with some type of childish action or even some form of hypochondriac procedure. This I imagine has been drilled into our population by the one-eyed monster, we call television, that graces most all our homes.
Of course, everything cannot be blamed on television. Through the years, our society has become liberal to the degree where strong leadership is feared by many, and at the best, avoided by the vast majority. Very seldom do we see a person who is reflecting real, strong, positive leadership ability being elected to a public office. This goes for the father image as well. If we see a strong-charactered, God-fearing head of a household reflected in real life or in fiction, we will immediately come to the conclusion: he is going to scar his children by his domineering personality and make the some type of servile individuals for the rest of their lives.
I say this is not so! Leadership can only be passed along through example. Unfortunately, we have lost almost all of or examples as far as fatherly leadership is concerned, so there is no one to perpetuate this image. The young man grows up with a weak father and does not have anyone with whom to identify, so he does not know what a real man is. He sees the dad allowing the good mother of the home to carry on his responsibilities, while he grossly neglects the family in many different ways.
I am sure that at this time you are wondering if I am ever going to get around to telling you what I think a good father is. By describing a bad father, I am surely telling you what a good father should be. He should certainly be just the opposite of a weak, poor father. I would much rather see a strong-charactered, righteous man walk by his children, and in doing so, observe them somewhat flinching as they became fearful that he might just swat them, then see the reaction of most children to their father today. Maybe I’m a bit old fashioned, but I really feel children of all ages should have a type of fearful respect for their fathers: not because he is going to harm them physically, but because they have been brought up to the point that they dread him giving them even a glance of disdain.
A good father should do some of the things that we commonly picture a father doing. That is, play ball with his son, take him fishing, have a close father daughter relationship with his girls, and all in all, be a kind and sympathetic person. He should do all these things, yes, but he must first and foremost be the family leader. He has to take the helm of leadership and guide the household through the storms it is going to face as the years go by.
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