In celebration of Father's Day this Sunday, I'd like to share a few thoughts on the importance of fathers.
Both men and women are called to greatness by God, each having a unique role to play. With respect to men, I believe our natural instinct is to be protectors and not predators. Okay ladies, please don't roll your eyes thinking, "Oh gosh what a load of male chauvinistic-ideological-mumbo-jumbo." Be patient as I think you will find my humble thoughts worthy of consideration.
Fathers, like mothers, have a significant impact on the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health of their children. Recent research suggests the presence and voice of a caring, loving father plays a huge role in shaping the mind and values of his children. Fatherless children are statistically more likely to commit violent crimes, drop out of school and commit suicide.
It is quite likely the picture painted by pop culture is creating a lot of confusion as to what manhood is really supposed to look like. Our current hyper-sexed society would have us fall for the selfishness of thinking it's the norm to use people and love things, when in reality we are called to love people, unconditionally, and use things. Many men struggle with this as their idea of what manhood is all about gets twisted and distorted by the unhealthy lure of pornography. At it's core the porn industry robs us of our manhood (and womanhood). It creates a "users" mentality. Certainly fatherhood, as it is written on our hearts, is much stronger than what we see on television or the big screen.
I am blessed to have three men in my life who have truly set the standard for me on the signficance of fatherhood and all things "man":
William J. Seng, my dad, who continues to be a source of encouragement and perseverance. He always found time for our soccer games and swim meets while working fifty+ hours a week. Growing up in a small southern Indiana town, he has instilled in me and my siblings the joy of pursuing our dreams.
Frank H. Seng, Jr, my grandfather (father's side), who worked tirelessly as a cabinet maker and general factory laborer. His trademark teasing in calling us little monkies while proclaiming he could out-swim, out-run, out-kick or out-throw us even into his 90s always brings a smile to my face on race day.
Albert E. Ingraham, my grandfather (mother's side), who was commited to providing for his wife and family as a dairy farmer and jack of all trades. His Maine humor and work ethic is a daily reminder for me to get my bum out the door and do the job right.
Wishing all dads a very happy Father's Day and encourage you to lead your families to greatness...William Wallace style (think Mel Gibson in Braveheart)!
Keep it smooth...