Our fathers fill many important roles in our lives. From caring providers of food and shelter to driving instructors and career mentors. We expect them to be physically, mentally, and morally strong while also possessing the ability to nurture and comfort at just the right times. They teach us family values, the importance of a good work ethic, and even how to change the oil in our very first car.
Yes, many of us make the assumption as young children that our dads were automatically born with these skills and knowledge, even if they are not our biological parent. It is only later in life that we learn that much of this incredible experience and wisdom did not come to these men overnight. They have made mistakes along the way and have learned from them. All the while, our fathers have struggled over the years to provide a feeling of safety, security, and understanding that seems natural and effortless. Even as we grow into adulthood, many of us still look to “dad” to have all the answers.
With Father’s Day being almost a month ago, some of us were celebrating with many different men in our lives, including those who had no involvement whatsoever in creating our genetic makeup. Stepdads, grandpas, uncles, and in cases of a single parent household, perhaps even a long-time family friend may have filled this valuable and important role. But all of this incredible insight and wisdom did not come to these men without personal sacrifice. Yet, they share these life lessons with us unconditionally and without question.
A father has the unique and challenging task of demonstrating to both their sons and daughters what it means to be a “man”. His every decision and interaction is absorbed by us as children and teenagers, whether we realize it or not. But our fathers are keenly aware that we are always watching, taking great strides to react to different unexpected life circumstances and challenging situations in a way that will teach us to be strong, decisive, and confident. He teaches his daughters how a loving husband should treat his wife and teaches his sons how to be strong and caring at the same time.