Hello all you Grandfathers out there. I bet you thought you were just an ordinary person, but hidden away somewhere is your superhero cape. Go look for it!
My grandfather was my super hero. He saved my life, which is what superheroes are meant to do. I didn’t realize how much of the well being of my life I owe to him, until now, when a plethora of research underscores the importance of a father is a young child’s life, especially in their formative years. This is not to minimize the importance of motherhood, but a father’s role appears to have a more deep seated, far reaching, and long lasting effect. I didn’t have a father, because my parents divorced when I was a baby, but I had my Papa, and he more than filled those empty shoes. He could have walked away, deeming it some one else’s responsibility, but instead, he found his cape and put it on. He not only loved and cherished me, but he gave me the example of loving, cherishing, and honoring my grandmother and my mother. He showed me what I needed to look for in a good man. He showed me how I deserved to be treated. He taught me much by the humble way he lived his life with that huge servant’s heart of his that shined so brightly. I don’t know where I would have been if not for his constant presence, love, and guidance at such a critical time in my life.
There is so much out there to substantiate that fatherhood is not simply a circumstance of biology, but rather a central piece in the emotional well being of a child, for both genders. A father is the most important man in a son’s life. It is through the father that the son will discover his own masculinity and manhood. A father will help him learn to be a gentleman, a responsible man and a faithful man….one who is strong and yet not afraid to admit his weakness, one who leads, yet compassionately serves others, and one who gives freely of the most valuable gift he has to offer… his time. A father will teach him how he is to treat women, as he watches the way his father loves his mother.
A father is the most important man in a daughter’s life. He will set her on the course she will travel throughout her entire life. It is through him that she will know her worth and her innate beauty. It will be his job to protect her from others, and from herself, while she is still learning who she will become. He will be the one to help her understand what it means to be cherished and honored with words and actions, so that she will hold out for such a man with whom to share her life, and father her own children. It will be her reflection in his eyes that she will carry with her to conquer her world. She will learn how she is meant to be treated by watching the way her father loves her mother.
However, Hello….Houston we have a problem!! Families are crumbling. We are becoming a world without fathers and it is taking its toll. Sadly, before they reach the age of eighteen, more than half of our nation’s children are likely to spend at least a significant portion of their childhoods living apart from their fathers. Fatherlessness is sited as being one of the most harmful demographic trends of this generation and if left unchecked is likely to change the shape of our society. Go read it for yourself. Google it. When you take away the influence of a father on his sons and daughters, statistics tell us that into that negative void seeps a myriad of societal ills to include poverty, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, SDT’s, teen pregnancies, school dropouts, and emotional problems. Without fathers, the entire fabric of our society is weakened. Our quilt is getting quite thin.
So Grandfathers, we need you now more than ever!!! There are a lot of fatherless children out there. You are our next best Hope. Go grab your capes and take up the slack wherever you can. It might be in your own family, or you might find a child in need elsewhere. Pour into the gaps, take on a role that you’ve had before, and do it even better this time around. Or maybe, you’ve never been a Father. Now is your chance. Invest! Live the example of what it looks like to be the type of man you want successive generations of men to become. Be the man you want other young girls to aspire to marry. You will never know what hangs in the balance of YOUR decision. Plus, that cape will look pretty cool on you, I have no doubt! I mean, who doesn’t want to be a superhero. Here is your chance!
** Two great books are we strongly recommend reading: Strong Fathers/Strong Daughters and Building a Modern Day Knight. Links are in our resource section.