Thursday, September 12, 2013

Here's to the Dads

Has anyone noticed how commercials and sitcoms portray the modern dad? A fumbling goofus with little knowledge of how to raise or even care for a child. Someone who is inept at even the most basic of household tasks, is often lazy, and drinks an inordinate amount of beer. One commercial tonight (the one that sparked this rant) had a woman on the phone with a credit card company saying her husband forgot to pay the bill. When the woman on the phone resolves the issue she asks if he is "off the hook" the wife responds, "oh no, last week he went out for milk and brought home a puppy." Really, a puppy? I don't know about your husband/father but mine would never go out for milk and bring home a puppy, he might bring home the wrong type of milk, but not a puppy.

I would even say this commercial is a tame example. Look at Homer Simpson, Al Bundy, and  Ray Romano. They are hapless men who seem to know little about functioning as a parent or even adult in some circumstances. Often Dads are portrayed as selfish slobs who tune out their wives and children as they watch football and drink beer. This is not reality, at least not for many of the dads I am privileged to be around. 

I should also note that I do not have a good relationship with Dads. Mine was a deadbeat who hasn't seen me since I was sixteen. If anything, I have every reason to think Dads are selfish jerks who abandon their children and wives. But I don't, because even though my Dad was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a stand up father, I witnessed many who were.

Are there men out there who aren't stepping up to the plate of fatherhood, a resounding yes! However, what are we saying when our portrayal of men is inept, lazy idiots? Aren't we giving men a free pass saying, "it's ok, hunny, you are just like every guy I see on TV, that must be the norm." Shouldn't men be challenged to step up, to be the warriors that they are made to be. Warriors for their morals, for their families. 

Men were once seen as strong and fierce, now downgraded drastically to weak and lazy. 

BUT, here is the ray of sunshine. Men are fighting back. I see it everyday when my husband comes home from one job early to play with our daughter for an hour before going to the next to provide for us. I see it when he gets up early on a Saturday morning to be with E so that I can have a small break. I see it when he and I talk of mediocre fatherhood and the righteous indignation he has for laziness and ineptitude. I see it in my friend's husbands who sacrifice their football games to take their daughters on a date or their son's fishing. The dad's who give up their video games for pink tulle and ribbons. The men who not only look after their own children, but fight for other kids to love and know Jesus. I see it when my husband sacrifices yet another free day to put his energy into the jr high students at our church. 

You see, I am blessed to have a husband who loves and cares for his daughter and I the way he ought to. A man who most likely hates that I am saying all this about him, because he is humble and doesn't like attention. A man who sacrifices day in and day out for his family, who didn't run away when things got hard. A man who makes mistakes, yes, but has character and integrity that puts many to shame. It's not just my husband either. It's many more who are standing up against this age of fatherlessness. Who refuse to let the stereotypes define them. Men who are rising up and acting their age, knowing the great responsibility that has been given to them. 

So here's to the dad's who are not content with the status quo. Men who fight for their family, for their manhood. Men who know they have been called to a mighty task and face it with bravery and strength.