Only fathers are qualified to give fatherly wisdom, just as mothers’ wisdom is their sole domain.
So, here goes some of what I have to offer.
Fathers are not always given the respect they are due. It’s not until a man goes the full journey of fatherhood that he realises how this will affect him. Yet, if he wants, he grows, and the whole family prospers. But if he does not grow everyone suffers. Fathers need to be respected, but more than that, they need to cope when they aren’t.
Any father worth their role knows that currencies are worldly, and then there is the eternal. He is willing to trade everything of the former to save all he can of the later — his daughter’s heart and soul. But he must accept he has no control over anything he actually lives to cherish. Still, he’s content. That single option is his.
Fatherhood can be the most humbling of all human roles given the man’s instant propensity to pride. He knows it is weakness, but he struggles to surrender his strength. But, praise God, life will wrestle that earthly strength from him — through fatherhood — and give him something nobody can take from him.
A father learns the hard way that he must let go. He has no choice. If he doesn’t choose, that choice will be made for him, and that is a slap across an already swollen cheek.
God ordains fatherhood in the man’s life cycle. How else will he attain the character traits he was destined from his beginning to acquire? Any man who is not a father will be called into service as a mentor or surrogate dad of some kind. All must suffer the humiliation of leadership or they lead an unacceptably sheltered life.
There are all kinds of fathers, but true fathers are kind. Their strength is not hard, and though it may appear weak, it is strong most when it counts. Until then it looks like weakness to anyone with egotism. The father’s real strength is a complete paradox. It is never about him alone.
A father knows he’s ‘made it’ when he’s happy no longer being at the centre of his little girls’ world, happy to ‘give her away’ and give her the permission she needs to make her own way.
Some fathers need to know these things, some don’t, and others will disagree. So it is. So let it be.