North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

June 12, 2013

Danielle Cater: Dads have responsibility to sow into kids

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Father’s Day is here, and many people seem to have mixed feelings about this day. To the people who were raised with abusive or absentee fathers, it seems to be a day of mourning over what they feel that they missed by not having a good father figure or role model in their lives.

For others, Father’s Day can be a joyous day of celebrating the man who invested time, care, finances and prayers into their lives.

Whether the day brings happiness or sadness, take the time this weekend to contact the man who held the positive father figure role in your life, even if it wasn’t your biological father.

Our society has redefined the roles of mothers and fathers and it’s hard to figure out who exactly fits these roles, but I’m sure that each person reading this column has been blessed with some form of a positive male role model they could appreciate on Father’s Day. It may be your actual father or your preacher or youth minister while growing up. It could be your coach, teacher, neighbor or step-dad. No matter who filled the father’s role in your life, this weekend is the time to give credit where credit is due.

Fathers play an extensive part in their children’s lives that doesn’t stop when their babies get out of diapers or school, or into their own houses. Fathers keep feeding into their children’s lives for their entire lifespans.

The investment you make into your child will carry on to their children’s and grandchildren’s lives. You don’t just touch the life of your son, you touch the lives of his children and every generation after you.

Sons learn how to be fathers by watching their daddies. And daughters often look for a husband who will treat them like their daddy treated their momma. So the role of the father is of the utmost importance in the home.

It can’t be stressed enough that the structure and lifestyle that comes from a family stems from the daddy in the home. Dads, don’t waste these pivotal years with your children by watching sports and television and hunting or fishing without them. Include your kids in your life so they will feel accepted by you.

If you put other things in front of your kids, they will seek acceptance from other places and that’s where problems usually creep into families. If you have younger children at home, look into their eyes tonight before you get caught up in the television program you usually sink your time into. Look at those eyes and see if they feel the love and acceptance that you have for them. Do they know how much their daddy loves them? If not, then it’s on your head to fix that problem.

What do your children see in your life? What are you teaching them? Is your life telling them that outside activities are more important than their family unit? What kind of legacy are you leaving your sons and daughters? If they grew up to be just like you, would you be proud or apologetic? Whatever you sow into your children, you will reap one day, whether it be good or bad. Take the time today to make sure that you have a good harvest in your children. Plant seeds of love, time, fun, respect, faith and self-worth into your babies and watch them grow and flourish into amazing men and women of character.

If you neglect your children, you will be forced to sit back and watch them develop into bitter, shrivelled-up seeds that never took root in love or opened up to the nourishment that they could have had.

Dad, you play a considerable role in the lives of your babies whether your realize it or not. Good or bad, they will take from what you give them in their learning years and apply that to the rest of their lives. Leave a legacy for your children that you will be proud of. Think about the day that you will be sitting on the front porch watching your son play catch with his daughter, and reflect on the positive traits that you were able to pass down generationally to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There is nothing better that you can leave for your family than a good legacy and a good name.

Don’t just take your gifts this Father’s Day; determine to give the gift of being a good, active daddy in the lives of your children today. Sow goodness into their lives and then enjoy the reaping process instead of dreading it.