There’s no better day than Father’s day to publicly acknowledge:
Sometimes dads get the short end of the stick.
One particular article was mocking the media, and had this cartoon of the typical dad as he’s usually portrayed on TV:
A bumbling idiot guy is stooped down in the kitchen, peering into the oven with his hand on the temperature knob of the stove. And he’s saying, “Jeepers honey, I can’t seem to find channel 4 on the Teee-Veee.”
Yep…. the comedians give you a more accurate picture than the news does, most of the time.
Consistently, dads are portrayed on TV as stupid. They’re dumber than mom, dumber than their mistress, dumber than the mouthy teenage kids, dumber than the plumber.
My kids have “Berenstain Bears” books that we read at bedtime. In these books, Papa Bear usually says stupid things and Mama Bear usually corrects him.
Portraying husbands and dads as helpless fools is so common, most of us don’t even notice it anymore.
Or how about that old feminist slogan, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”?
What a thoroughly slanderous thing to say. I fail to see the humor. How is that any less insulting than, say, calling someone a nigger?
Our culture freely and gleefully tears down men. It forges their greatest strengths and highest aspirations into weapons that are used against them.
And my job today, Father’s day in the United States, is to set the record straight.
Men are not fools nor are they pigs or idiots.
Millions of men labor long hours for their wives and families and make great sacrifices for their loved ones. They set aside their personal agendas every day at 6 or 7am and drive to work and take great pride in caring for their families. They come home after dark and do it all over again the next day.
Many a man is too busy providing for his family and attending to his responsibilities, to try to argue with some bitter magazine columnist or college professor who labels him as ‘unnecessary.’
The fact that he IS necessary, and that people DO depend on him in a very real way, is actually the source of his greatest pride. It’s inseparable from his identity: At his core, he understands himself as the #1 defender and provider of those whom he loves.
So why am I saying all this to you today?
Not to put down people who put down men; not to nurse a grudge; but rather to say that on Father’s day we need to take a minute and untangle some of the lies and hurtful things that are said about men.
Because 97% of the time, they’re not true.
These lies must be untangled so that the truth can be spoken and received:
If you are a man, a husband, a father, a provider, YOU are worthy of honor and today is the day the world honors you. Today I honor you for what you do, even though much of the time it may feel like a thankless job.
THANK YOU for doing what you do.
And also, whether you are a man or a woman, a grandpa or a teenager, there is probably some *other* man in your life that deserves an embrace or an email or a phone call or a text message – some small token of thanks and honor for being who he is and doing what he does.
It’s a day for all of us to honor each other for the ways that we serve.
Now if you are a man and an entrepreneur then you sometimes have TWO thankless jobs not one. Jobs which are often directly at odds with each other.
And… if you’re a *struggling* entrepreneur then you have a triple whammy: The challenges of the two jobs and the tension between the two… combined with injury to your pride because you have not been able to provide as well as you dearly dream of providing.
Not many people understand how deeply that moves you sometimes. It’s a private hurt, for the most part.
Please remember, it is a hurt that comes from the noblest of intentions and the highest of aspirations.
Sometimes men and entrepreneurs alike are judged by other people as just being selfish.
Sometimes our best efforts to give are misconstrued as attempts to take.
All men struggle with this. You and me both. You’re not alone.
Let me tell you a little story….
I’ve got this little group of friends at my church that sometimes gets together for the sole purpose of praying and… just listening.
Listening to what the Still Small Voice may have to say.
Waiting until something is heard, until Wisdom presents herself.
Sometimes those meetings are pretty quiet. Sometimes there are long stretches of silence. It’s a strange and special thing.
On one particular day I was seeking wisdom about this very question – what to do with this feeling that, sometimes, my own best efforts to give have been misconstrued by others as attempts to take.
I wait and listen for awhile and after some time goes by, the answer comes back: “People do that to Me all the time. They interpret My best efforts to give as attempts to take. This is an experience you and I both share, together.”
Wow. A Father and a son having empathy for each other. Sharing that mutual experience and bonding together, within that experience. How human that is, yet… how supernatural.
So yes, today I acknowledge with you that shared experience. I celebrate you and we all celebrate Father’s Day and give HONOR to dads. Dads who, even in all our imperfections, strive and sacrifice to give the very best to those we love.
Seize the Day.
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