Fathers play a big role in defining manhood for sons. Of course, where should they get their masculinity first? It is through a father’s guidance, mentoring that a boy learns how to be a man, and gets his strength.
“The ancient societies believed that a boy becomes a man only through ritual and effort–only through active intervention of the older men.” (Robert Bly as quoted in Wild at Heart by John Eldredge)
I did not grow old with a father. Well, I knew he worked in Saudi and came home every once in a while. Then before I graduated elementary, he stopped going home, and he was gone just like that.
I thought I was contented; I could even say I was indifferent, without a father but as a confession, I tried getting masculinity/strength from places that I shouldn’t get. Not that I went out and tried to pick fights, bully others, or extreme sports, or what not. One way I did it: taking my strength to Eve.
“The woman that will make me feel like a man.”
Just to make myself feel like a man, I did try to get it from women. Living with women (a mother and four sisters), I am very comfortable talking to women. This helped me to easily flirt (yes) with women. I didn’t know how to be a man, so that’s where I tried getting validation. That’s one of our wiring as a man–to pursue that Golden Haired Beauty. This resulted to just empty pursuits and mostly heartaches.
A Good, Good Father.
Oh and I’ve seen many searching for
Answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers only You provide (Chris Tomlin “Good Good Father”)
My real father I had a re connection through Facebook and learned more. I knew he was in Canada and had a family there. Whatever he lacked for me, seems like he was able to give to my brother there, Colin.
Colin is still young, yet is very responsible, musically inclined, and a loving husband to his wife, Cairo. I don’t think he’ll grow up like that if he wasn’t guided well by our father.
Validation is important. Don’t we all long for it, through our work, our relationships, our ministry? We long to know if we are doing a good job, that we have what it takes. There is power in validation, and one great example is this:
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,[a] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)
As Ptr Dennis Sy speaks on his book “Act Like a Man”, he narrows three points on the Father during Jesus’ baptism: that He showed up, He made His presence be felt, and that He loved Jesus. It was the Father who validated Jesus as He set off to His mission–to give life for each and every one of us, and we all know how that went. Sure, I know Jesus will still save us from sins because of what He will do on the cross, but at that point, God the Father had to show us how a father loves a son. It was like a cheer of “You can do it.”
And that He did. Crazy as it may sound, I may not have had my father on my side but knowing that we have a Father in heaven who loves us too, gave me so much comfort. He was the one who gave the affirmation I was apparently longing for years.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” (Psalm 68:5)
God is God. Merciful yet just. He is King, yet He presents Himself in a way that everyone could relate–a father. Some of us, like me, may not have had a great relationship with our earthy fathers but we surely know what a good father is. We know it by heart, because God placed it there.
“For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.” (Psalm 27:10)
This is not an attack on my father; on the contrary, it is a honoring. Sure, he might not have raised me but I commend him for raising Colin well. The photo above was taken when he visited the Philippines way back. I am pretty sure I have an idea on how I would look like when I grow older.
I do understand that this is bigger than me, that’s why I am comforted with a Father from heaven. He gave me my identity, my name, and thus a direction in this life. It is within His Words that give us the assurance that our fathers here on earth may not be ideal, but in Him we have a perfect Father.
Indeed, you’re a good, good Father.