A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again. ~Enid Bagnold, 1969
It occurred to me today that Fatherhood is a complicated position. Growing up, I went from adoration of my Dad, to respect, to questioning him, to dismay and back to respect and most of all love. Dads are perplexing creatures.
When I think of my Dad now, the view of have of him is totally different than what it used to be. As a child I remember walks with my Dad, going to the hardware store with him, working on projects with him in the scary part of our cellar. As an engaged young woman, I would spend most Friday nights with him listening to music and talking about many topics. I remember him patting my hand in the back of the church looking at me and asking if I was ready. His reassuring arm holding on to me before giving me away to a sailor who would take me around the world.
When I brought our oldest daughter home from Japan, he checked her three month old bottom carefully. When I asked what he was doing, he smiled and said, “Just looking for the made in Japan mark.” He was both funny and frustrating. At times our phone conversations would be long and at other times he would call, not talk much and hang up, leaving me wondering why. (Now I understand the need to just hear a child’s voice).
He raised three girls on his own and my sisters and I know we did a lot of raising of ourselves also. But, now, my sisters and I agree that he did the best he could under the circumstances. He provided a roof over our heads, food for the table, clothes and things we could enjoy, 45’s, albums, books, games.
As a child, you look at the man who is your father. You remember all the times you had with him. The times he agreed with you and made you smile, as well as the times he gave you a definite no and you yelled or sulked.
I do this with my heavenly Father also. When I have asked for things which I think are important and I get the definite no back. I yell and I sulk. Fathers make decisions that are not always pleasant. They are given a wisdom, though that goes beyond a mother’s wisdom. Fathers look at the whole picture, examine the pros and cons, and then give answers. Like our heavenly Father those answers can be yes, no, or wait.
Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103:13 (NASB)
A good father is committed to his family. They stay in the hard times. They do not shirk their duty. They weather the difficulties and uncomfortable times. When a man accepts this challenge and sees it through, his children are blessed. They can lift up their eyes regardless how they are currently feeling and be grateful to have them as a father.