Single parent homes are not just a trend. Single parent homes have become the model of a normal American family extending from urban communities to the suburbs. And when I speak of single parent homes I am speaking of the majority, “women raising children”. It is a proven fact that women of every generation and race have been the fabric, backbone, parent, and in some cases the primary bread winner of the family. In many cases, women have to assume a unique role of parenting to overcompensate for the absence of fathers. Where are the fathers that care?
My story is a little different, I grew up in a two parent home in which my father was a very active parent. My mother and father assumed very distinctive roles that cultivated an environment driven by faith, love, affirmation, discipline, determination, and perseverance. There are values and wisdom that my father instilled in my siblings and I that reflect in and throughout our personalities. There are times in which we have not always personified the values instilled but yet the foundation remains. These values are essential and act as foundational tools to give a person significance, character, and integrity in a vastly changing society. There is something unique about the presence of a father in the live of their children. I want to share some values that I have learned through my relationship with my own father that I will strive to instill into my family.
Faith-the acknowledgement of God and reliance on the supreme essence of the the Holy Spirit to lead and guide as a father, husband, and teacher. Make children aware of God’s redemptive plan of salvation and unconditional love toward us. Openly conveying your beliefs and values.
Love-acknowledges and develops strong relational bonds. The presence of genuine need for transparent and embracing your children with the gentleness and tenderness of one who is concerned and willing to protect and comfort. Man, hug and kiss your children. Are children are not here to serve us but we are here to serve our children. Be affectionate! Tell them that you love them! Not just on Christmas and not to manipulate them to doing what you want them to do!
Affirmation-an awareness and commitment to provide strong support for emotional needs for child; gives a child significance; making your child feel like their presence is needed and wanted. Celebrating successes and acknowledging failures with hope of succeeding again. Willingness to create an environment where children can feel like they can become someone and achieve even before they ever try to do anything.
Discipline- the presence of preparation, to correct when wrong, provide understanding and vision; presence of self-control, and continue nurturing and guidance…
Determination- instill problem solving skills, allowing child to make decisions, and committed to help support them in achieving their goals and celebrating when they follow through with their actions. Having your children look forward to something…Acknowledge when you fail or come up short…it will free them from perfectionism and release them into excellence…
Perseverance-instill a quality of mental and physical stamina and strength opposition and challenges. The willingness to stand with your child to teaching them the quality of not giving up in other words, spot them as they bench-press life.
I pray that as fathers we would become committed to these essential values and think through how you can implement these into your family life. These values may translate differently based on family structure. And to the fathers that did not grow up with a father (your father was not active) you can still be what you never had. It takes time and you being intentional. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. We all have but get up and do better next time. Our children need us.