Garner: Opinion

Editorial: Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Sunday (today) marks Father’s Day, the one time each year we look at the father in our life and appreciate what he has done for us.

Fathers come in all shapes and sizes. They bring different qualities and skills to their work as a dad. Some are the best carpenters you ever saw and that tree house in the back yard is ample evidence. Other dads teach their children the value of being involved in the community and looking for ways to serve others.

Sometimes dads impart lessons to their children on purpose. Other times those lessons are learned by children who watch and observe the actions and beliefs of their fathers.

There’s no escaping the fact that, however those lessons are taught, fathers are teachers.

And while we think of Father’s Day as a time for young children to celebrate their daddies, it’s clear that being a father is a job that doesn’t end when the children leave the nest.

Adult children won’t hesitate to seek out a father’s advice and they won’t be as likely, at 27 or 37, to ignore the advice their fathers give them, as they might have when they were seven or 17.

Unfortunately, there are far too many circumstances in which a family is fatherless. It is, sadly, a sign of the times that the marriage vows are not taken as strictly as they once were. Marriage, for too many men, is a lifetime commitment only as long as the going is good. Giving up the marriage commitment, for too many men, also means giving up the father commitment. That leads far too many people down the wrong path. A broken marriage is rarely a child’s fault. But that child is punished many times over when the father leaves the picture.

So let’s be sure, this year, that we celebrate those dads who have maintained their lifetime commitment to their children. Regardless of how they did it. It is a difficult, challenging job. It is thankless for 364 days a year. So on this one day, let’s tell Dad we are grateful and that we were paying attention to the lessons they’ve been trying to teach us.