This blog is intended to celebrate (and laugh at) motherhood, and it’s true that we are all amazing (feel free to replace that with whatever other narcissistic adjective makes you feel good), but I’ve felt inspired to give dads their moment in the spotlight today.
Whenever the general conference issue of the Ensign is published, I love to flip through the pages and look at the pictures. I don’t know why really, they’ve never seemed extraordinarily inspiring– maybe I’m self-absorbed enough to believe that I’ll actually know some of the people in those photos and be kind of famous by association. Anyway, the picture above caught my eye. I looked at it for a minute or so, and it actually brought tears to my eyes. I’m not a very weepy person, really, but something about it was so endearing to me. I felt so proud of them (strangers–they all live in Ukraine, so I didn’t date any of them or anything) because they stood there under that picture of the Savior holding little children and just being dads in every right sense of the word. And in a very Grinch-like way, my heart grew a few sizes in honor of the good fathers out there who are being what God intended them to be.
My husband I were laughing the other night about a music mix I had in college called the Love is False and Men Suck Mix. I probably don’t have to go into great detail about what kind of mood I was in when I would listen to it, but my dating years taught me that many men were irresponsible, selfish, and pretty undisciplined. (I’m generalizing… there were also a few nice boys that just happened to be too dumb to fall completely in love with me.) Even now, with a husband who is a righteous and honorable man, I sometimes find myself losing faith in mankind in general. I make the mistake of reading the news or watching TV and I start thinking about what a bunch of decadent pigs they are.
I spent time this summer with a dear friend from my college years (and actually a co-creator of that Love is False mix) and we discussed this topic among many other long-lost girlfriend kinds of topics. She said something to me that changed my attitude. I’ll paraphrase. “You know, I think that’s all part of Satan’s plan. He wants us to look at men like walking [male anatomy]. That destroys the possibility of having meaningful relationships and loving families. Think of all the shows on TV…. how many of them have male characters that are kind, caring, compassionate or anything resembling righteous? Just like Satan wants men to see all women in the wrong way, he also wants us women to see men as something less than they were meant to be.” Okay, I really paraphrased a lot, but that was her basic point and it chastened me. She was so right. I’d been suckered into believing a little bit of what Satan wanted me to believe. And since then, I’ve tried harder to appreciate the divine role of men and give them more credit for the good, even great things they do.
So to the three Ukranian fathers and all the good dads out there who do this:
Thank You! You make it easy for our hearts to love you and for our children to respect you. God Bless all the good men that are still doing the right things for the right reasons.
“How much more beautiful would be the world and the society in which we live if every father looked upon his children as the most precious of his assets, if he led them by the power of his example in kindness and love, and if in times of stress he blessed them by the authority of the holy priesthood; and if every mother regarded her children as the jewels of her life, as gifts from the God of heaven, who is their Eternal Father, and brought them up with true affection in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord.” — Gordon B. Hinckley
Happy Father’s Day.
(This post was originally published on November 10, 2008. I posted it again to recreate my lost archives, and in honor of Father’s Day and Matt’s birthday this weekend. I love you, Matt.)