We were spending time at someone’s house on Father’s Day. I remember commenting to the wife that we were probably interfering with their Father’s Day plans. (I knew celebrating Mother’s Day and other holidays were very important to them.) Her response caught me a bit off guard. She said, “No, that’s ok. We weren’t planning anything special. After all, every day is Father’s Day.” Now I didn’t ask her exactly what she meant, but it did bother me a bit. Why was this a holiday that didn’t matter to them?
In our culture, Father’s Day is celebrated far less than Mother’s Day. Statistics prove it. Gift buying for Father’s Day lags behind those bought for Mother’s Day, and, according to the Greeting Card Industry, there are 40 million fewer cards sold for Father’s Day than Mother’s Day. Why is this? Aren’t dads as important within the family unit as moms? Don’t they deserve the recognition moms do? Why should Mother’s Day “take the cake” while Father’s Day ends up with a handful of left-over crumbs?
Our culture often portrays men as being less significant than women. Movies and books often depict men as incapable, lazy, and passive. (Which is far from most men I know.) Some men may struggle with a few of these tendencies, but it’s wrong to stereotype them.
If anyone would be so discriminating as to depict all women as being bossy, controlling, lazy and insensitive, we’d never hear the end of it. Just as there are some “dead beat” fathers in our world, there certainly are also “dead beat” mothers. We’ve met hundreds of moms in prisons who’ve grossly neglected and abused their children just to satisfy their selfish needs and desires.
There’s something incredibly wrong when motherhood is honored and celebrated while fatherhood is ignored, belittled, and criticized. We must remember each of us parents are greatly lacking apart from the redeeming work of the Lord Jesus.
Why does it seem acceptable in our culture for women to complain, gripe, and nag their husband, yet men who also work hard and sacrifice many hours for their family are considered male chauvinists if they dare criticize women? The word chauvinist means “woman hater”. (Notice, there’s no similar word commonly used for a woman who speaks negatively about men, and, believe me, I’ve met such women!) Why should women be given a goddess status while men are treated as insignificant whipped pups?
Contrary to popular portrayal, fathers today face an incredible amount of stress and pressure not only from their jobs, but also because of unrealistic expectations.
It’s time we begin to see it for what it is. Fatherhood and manhood has been under attack for way too long.
Our culture is launching this attack, but I believe we, as women, are also major contributors. I believe the main cause of harsh criticism of men, is that we forget that our husbands are simply hardwired differently than we are. (I’m as much to blame as any woman!) We women are typically more in tune to the needs of those around us. We’re just wired that way. We remember special dates and events far better than the average man. And since we’re closest to our husband, we expect him to remember special events and our personal likes and dislikes, even better than our female friends.
Meanwhile our poor husband is left struggling, trying to figure out what he did wrong. Mothers have a nurturing role. But when our husbands seem oblivious in this area, we criticize them. Yes, they can learn to become more nurturing, but it doesn’t come naturally for most men.
In the same way, most women struggle in handling stressful jobs or providing for her family like the husband does. It can be learned, but it doesn’t come as naturally as it does for men. It’s how God created us. What if men were as critical of women in this area as we are of them? They’d be described as male chauvinist pigs.
What is the significance of Father’s Day? Why should fathers be appreciated? I believe when God created fathers, He gave us a tangible view of our relationship with Him. God is our strong Protector and Provider. A Strong-Tower. This is the role He wanted fathers to demonstrate. God is also gentle and nurturing like a mother. The combination of the strengths of the best father and the best mother gives a reflection of who God is. Satan’s agenda is to destroy anything that points to the Father. Healthy father and mother relationships are under attack. Men are under attack. The marriage union is under attack.
Fathers have a significant role distinct from that of mothers. And being the God-given leader and provider in the home is not for the faint of heart.
Just as God the Father loves our adoration and respect, so do our husbands and fathers. Contrary to the Heavenly Father, they don’t always deserve it. But if we’re honest, neither do we. We want our husbands to love us, even when we’re acting unloveable. We cannot demand to be shown unconditional love and appreciation while expecting husbands and fathers to earn our appreciation and respect.
Happy Father’s Day to all the courageous godly men who aren’t afraid to go against the culture and sacrificially lead your wife and children. You are significant. And we need you.
“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:6
-Cindy (For The Mullett Family)