I’m not knocking the role of mothers, but it is different, and the roles are complementary. I believe there is a certain something that the male of the species is designed to give, that, when absent, leads to a lack of an inner compass.
Take a guy like Don, for example. If you met him, you would think he was focused mainly on his work, and he is very good at that. You might think he had a great sense of humor and was a trustworthy sort. He might seem a bit crusty around the edges and never, oh never one to cry at the movies.
What you might not see at first glance is his devotion to family, and loyalty to all—friends and family alike. This is a man who always put his family first, even when deployed on aircraft carriers around the world. He would teach his son about priorities and sportsmanship, taking responsibility for his actions, and how to love unconditionally. He would teach him how to throw and catch a football and how to fix what's broken. He is the one who followed a step behind the toddler exploring the water’s edge, and the one who got up at 5 a.m. to give the cat its insulin (although, of course, he claimed to have “shot the cat”).
They are learning that responsibilities to families may take parents away physically, but never emotionally. They are learning how to be strong, how to tell right from wrong. They are learning to respect their mother from his example, and how to respect themselves.
A father teaches how to be tough, yet gentle. How to use strength for good, and to be aware that those smaller or weaker may need our help. A mother may give birth and raise a child in good spiritual, physical and mental health. But by both reinforcing her efforts and providing a counterpoint, the father completes the creation of a whole and healthy human being.
© Copyright 2014 Tracey Enerson Wood. All rights reserved.