I feel that being a father is an honor and a blessing, something that if full of responsibility, but also great reward. Not every man who has a child can be said to be a father. Being a father takes work. It takes sacrifice. It is about self-giving. Not all men are up to that challenge. Anybody can get someone pregnant. If that is all it took to be a father then all the men who have impregnated women, and then abandoned them could be considered father’s (by the way I could make the same statements about what it takes to be a mother, but that is for another post), to me that is not a father, it is merely a sperm donor.

So my wish for this Father’s Day is that all men who have children will step up to be fathers. That they will not just be present in their children’s lives, but active participants. That they will realize that they are the model upon which their children are basing all their actions. Consider that responsibility – not only are fathers responsible for the physical well being of their children, providing them with food and shelter, but also for the emotional and mental well being of their children. As fathers we must provide good examples for our children in the things we say, the things we do, and how we treat other people.

As fathers we must teach our children that the quality of our lives is not measured in how much money we have, or the things we own, but rather on the impact we make in the lives of others. This impact can be as small as just being nice to the people you come into contact with on a daily basis to helping out somebody in trouble or need. How we interact with the world around us on a daily basis will be reflected in how our children interact with the world; they are a direct reflection of us.

We also need to get rid of the notion that our children must be sacrificed to the state or that it is somebody else’s responsibility to educate our children. Our children are ours. We brought them into this world and they are our responsibility for as long as they are in the world and as long as we are in the world. They are not pawns to be sacrificed by the state in pointless wars. We should take an active and concerned interest in the education of our children as it is the most important part of what we do, as it shapes every part of the person they will become. We should cultivate a love of knowledge and truth, a concern for others, and an appreciation for all the blessings that we have in our lives, no matter how small or insignificant these things may seem. Gratitude is the greatest gift we can bestow on our children, for if they can be happy with what they have instead of worry about what they don’t have, or what somebody else has, then they will not be chasing happiness in things, but instead finding happiness in themselves and other people through healthy relationships and expectations.

I wish that all fathers would embrace their role as father to be present for their children, to be a role model for their children, to be a teacher to their children, to be a rock and a guide for their children, to just be for their children. May all fathers be blessed with wisdom, compassion, and kindness. May all men who have children make the conscious effort to become a father, to live as a light and a guide of love and patience.