The role of a father is critical to the health of all because a father is the foundation of humanity.
As the ordained leader of a family, a father determines the success or failure of the family and society because a family is the basic unit or cell of society.
The origin of Father’s Day
The origin of Father’s Day is traced to Semora Deod, whose mother died while giving birth to her. Her father, an ex-military man, singlehandedly took care of her and five other siblings.
In 1910, grown and married Semaora realised the heroic role her father played in caring for her. She organised a holiday in honour of her father. Today Father’s Day is celebrated by all because it takes a mother and a child to be a father.
It is important we celebrate fathers because anything celebrated grows in health. On the other hand, anything not celebrated exits our lives. An important way to make fathers stand up to their responsibilities is to celebrate them so that they feel honoured appreciated, loved and cherished.
Celebrating Father’s Day
Make time for your father: Go down the memory lane. Talk about the good and the bad, happy and sad moments, and the bad things you did and said. Thank your father for what he has done for you.
Send a gift: Send something you know will be useful to him. Good gifts are those which stay in our memories because of their special importance to us. If your father is not around you may send something to anyone who plays a fatherly role or to charity.
Pray for your father: Pray for him and forgive him for whatever wrongs he has done against you. He is human and sometimes fathers can be sincerely wrong.
Honour your father: This is God’s first command with a promise; that all will go well with you and you will enjoy long life. This command is irrespective of how your father treated you. If your father wasn’t there for you see it as God’s way to make you stronger and wiser. Think of what you can do for yourself. If nothing at all thank your father for the gift of life.
Fathers stand up and be counted
Mother’s Day is a very celebrated event third only to Christmas and Valentine but we hardly hear of Father’s day. This is because while we all remember the great sacrifices made by our mothers many of us remember little about what our fathers have done for us.
Fact is most fathers shirk their responsibilities and narrow fatherhood to paying ‘chop money’.
They spend all their time on business or politics and are total strangers to their children. Last year, this writer, as guest speaker at a graduating ceremony, observed a girl weeping uncontrollably.
She was the best student in class and received many prizes. Her mother was out of the country and the father had gone to the port for some deliveries! Fact is if a father neglects his children to chase money and the children get wayward, no amount of money can get them back on track.
Many years ago, an African head of state went to his office and found a young girl. He was angry and asked his staff who the girl was. They told him she was his daughter and was celebrating her birthday! Many fathers hardly know their children.
Fathers must know that God has given you the gift of leadership but it comes with responsibility. You must, therefore, stand up and be up to your task.
Make time for your children and share activities with them. Take them as your friends. Love them unconditionally and show positive encouragement.
Provide physical, mental and spiritual security for their holistic development. Show good examples because children learn more from what you do than what you say.
Make today a time for reflection and see what you can do differently and better for your children. If nothing at all resolve to make your children better than you. If you make your children better, the whole world gets better because they influence society positively.
Fathers, stand up and be counted as the cornerstone of your family and ultimately humanity. Happy Father’s Day!
By: Dr John Boakye