Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49 , I Samuel 17:57 - 18:5, 10-16, Job 38:1-11, Psalm 9:9-20, Psalm 133, Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41

Last night, I expressed some thoughts about being a father, especially about the responsibility. This morning, I want to talk about the pride. After playing some baseball with my son, I attended a birthday/going away party for one of my stepsons. James is going into the Air Force on Tuesday, so he will be in boot camp on his birthday in July.

As I sat back and observed the proceedings, I watched his father pull him to the side and talk to him, take pictures with him and enjoy the festivities. I was glad to see that, because we had our clashes as to how much of a role he should play in his life. James, who is named after his dad, never held any animosity toward his dad, no matter how many promises he broke. That is partially because I would not let him.

I constantly reminded him that he was blessed to have two fathers, two men who truly loved and cared for him. Judging from the responses last night, he got that. I took pride in watching a young man come into his own, hanging out with his girlfriend, socializing with the other adults attending, enjoying the moment while mentally preparing for the decision he made. I am so proud of him. He was a challenge to raise, but not in a totally negative way. I mean, he was a boy after all.

Now he is a man, and the next time I will see him, he will have evolved greatly in his manhood. I cannot hold his hand anymore. I cannot protect him anymore. He will be truly on his own. However, I am confident he is equipped for that and I am honored that I had a role in making that happen.

Now I have one more stepson to raise and that will be a challenge in a totally different way, as I have entered his life in a very late stage. I think it will work out, but it will not be as smooth as it was with my older stepsons. However, I know, from those earlier experiences, it will have a positive outcome, for he has never had a real father in his life.

My biological son loves me. I love him. I will continue to do all I can to show that to him, and with all the experience I have accumulated over these years being a co-father to other young men, I am confident that my son will make me just as proud as I am of his older stepbrothers. That is what Father's Day is all about to me: Pride, Responsibility and Love.

Christ said the most important thing we can do as human beings is love one another. It is imperative that a father loves his children.