Running has never ever been my first love, and as I have grown older, I seem to have found it increasingly difficult to put on my sneakers to go out for a walk, let alone to go jogging or running. When I was a kid however, I loved jogging, and it wasn’t because I was boisterous or had nothing better doing with my time as some may think, but it was because I jogged with my Dad and siblings. After high school my Dad and I would have races together which I always won—he will disprove my story if you ask him—and would spend father-son together. Sometimes allowing me to drive us back home.
Whenever we run or had fun together, I totally forgot about the days he spanked me or treated me in ways that made me mad. Whenever we spent quality time together I forgot about all the grudges I held against him.
One time after running, and as I was driving us back home, he apologized for not treating me fairly. It was a humbling experience for me and I loved it. I believe that it also strengthened our bond.
What sons want.
Every son I believe wants to be able to easily approach and talk to their dad, learn things from and spend father-son time together. Guys love to look up to a great father figure or to be mentored—it’s our nature—and whenever there is no one to mentor us, we mentor or try to figure out things for ourselves. This is where things usually get messy.
Fathers have been sons and boys before. Fathers know what it feels like to be harassed or abused by a bully, tempted by girls, beaten by a teacher for having weak grades, yelled at by parents for performing poorly in school or at home, teased for being imperfect by peers and praised for trying to be cool or rebellious. I believe that every father has at least experienced one of the above. And this is what sons want to know, they want a victorious father figure who can or will mentor them; one who can teach them how to overcome the same challenges they went through, as well as guide them in fulfilling their God-given dreams or His purpose for their lives.
The problem we have these days is that, many fathers are never around to be with their kids and even if they are, they usually isolate themselves from the rest of the family. This leaves the mother alone to bear the responsibility of mentoring the kids, but the truth is, no one can mentor a kid or bring out a man in a boy like his father or another fatherly figure.
The paradox of manliness
To be a “man” in this world, means to be that type of person that would wreck his home in the future. We are “trained” to think that having all the girls, being richer than everyone else and living like we don’t care about the end results of our actions—ignoring our conscience—is what it means to be a man.
We usually get this training from our peers or fathers who were also trained by others on how to break up a happy home.
Men have been thought not to cry even when they are in pain, and not to complain about their problems when they are hurting, but rather, to drink their problems away or suck them up like men do.
We live in a world where men have been or are being transformed into “mean beings” rigged with loads of hurts and frustrations. Being “men” they don’t talk about these issues or forgive the people who hurt them and this leads them to destroy their marriages and homes: they keep comparing their wife to an ex or their kids to some other kids or themselves to their own parents.
This is not God’s plan for men. God’s plan isn’t for us to destroy our homes or to live a hermit-type life at home whereby we are not able to relate to our kids or spouse. His plan isn’t for us to struggle and have affairs outside our marriages or to go to bars to drink our problems away like “men” do.
The ripple effect
You see, once a man is affected a whole generation can be affected. Whenever a boy is bullied in school and he grows up never forgiving the people who bullied him, a whole generation can be affected beginning with his own home. Whenever a boy is teased for being a virgin and he decides to break his virginity to prove others wrong, a whole generation is affected, beginning with his family, other girls and later on his wife: that’s if he chooses to get married. Whenever a guy wants to prove he is a “man,” this affects other people as well. This is all because we are a product of our past decisions.
All fathers are a products of their past decisions, hurts, frustrations, triumphs and so on. When they carry past hurts, frustrations and other negative experiences into their marriages, chaos springs up. Whenever a man carries the scars from a broken relationship into his marriage he tends to disrespect his wife or cheat on her. Whenever a man carries the pain from never having a father around or having an abusive father into his marriage he usually stays disconnected from his kids. Whenever a man carries the scars of being bullied into marriage he expect his kids to “man up” whenever they experience the same challenges he faced and the list goes on.
It is no surprise that God says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (See 2 Corinthians 5:17).” A godly father is a new creature that is inspired and led by God not only to lead his household but a whole generation.
Godly fatherhood begins with forgiveness. Forgiving our parents, ex’s,and the people who bullied, teased or maltreated us.
It is sad to say many fathers are living to prove someone wrong or to please a group of people and in doing this, they only keep wrecking their home. It’s sad to say, this is something they never realize until they are on their death beds or when all their kids have moved out of their home. This is why we need to forgive people from our past; not because we think they deserve it. but because God’s wants us to. And also to prevent ourselves from carrying an overwhelming load of hurts and pains throughout life.
God bless you.