A Message To All Fathers: You Matter
“Efforts must be made to restore socially the conviction that the place and task of the father in and for the family is of unique and irreplaceable importance.”
Saint John Paul the Great (Familiaris Consortio)
I know I’m a young dad, but my experiences as a basketball coach and youth minister have given me unique insight into the profound impact fathers can have on their kids.
In his Apostolic Exhortation, St John Paul II expresses how damaging an unembraced fatherhood can be, “As experience teaches, the absence of a father causes psychological and moral imbalance and notable difficulties in family relationships, as does, in contrary circumstances, the oppressive presence of a father, especially where there still prevails the phenomenon of "machismo," or a wrong superiority of male prerogatives which humiliates women and inhibits the development of healthy family relationships.” (Familiaris Consortio).
I have witnessed the difference that a father who embraces his vocation can make. These fathers may not be perfect, but they make sure their efforts count for something. Fathers who are present to their families and willing to lovingly sacrifice their own comfort for the good of their family are fulfilling God’s calling for them. St John Paul tells us that, “Love for his wife as mother of their children, and love for the children themselves, are for the man the natural way of understanding and fulfilling his own fatherhood.”
As fathers our presence, our love, and our example have eternal ramifications. Before our kids experience God as Father, they’ll experience us as father. A father who is willing to show up both physically and emotionally for his family and offers them firm direction with mercy and love truly reflect the heart of God the Father.
On this Father’s Day let us strive for a fatherhood that reveals the unconditional love that awaits our families in the arms of the Father.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads that are striving to be the best dad they can be!
Until Next Time - Esto Vir!