Monday, June 23, 2014

Mormon Monday: Fatherhood

We're back!

I'll start posting information about our trip starting tomorrow, but today I wanted to get back to the normal schedule and talk about fathers, since I missed Father's Day.

On one of the last days of our trip, we were sitting in a hotel room flipping through channels. We don't have a television at our house, so we were trying to see if anything was worth watching.

For having so many channels, there really wasn't anything worth watching until we got to an episode of the Twilight Zone. It was the old version, and I'd never seen it before, but Grig recognize it. We watched it, and I rather enjoyed it.

After it finished, we didn't change the channel and a commercial came on for an old western. In the commercial a young boy was talking to his manly-looking, cowboy father, and the father made the comment, "There's no place I'd rather be than with you."

As I heard those words, the thought hit me that fathers haven't been portrayed that way in years. In general, fathers are portrayed as idiotic, absent, or abusive. It is very rare anymore that a father is seen as a vital part of a family.

 My husband, Grig, is a huge part of our family. I have chosen to be a stay-at-home mother, and I love it. I love teaching my son all the time and seeing him grow and develop. I can't imagine leaving him to the care of anyone else. Obviously not everyone has the opportunity to raise their child this way, but I'm so grateful that I have been able to.

This would not be possible if Grig wasn't an amazing provider. He worries about making enough money and spending time with us. Early on in our marriage, we discussed what kind of career he wanted to have and he impressed on me that the most important thing to him was to spend time with his wife and children. He wanted to have a good job, but not at the cost of never seeing us.

We've been blessed with a good job and we've been able to spend time together. We try to have a weekly date night away from Kevin, and constantly try to strengthen our love for each other and our son.

According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, fathers and mothers have very important roles in the family. A while ago, the church issued a document called, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World."

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
Though the proclamation states that fathers are to provide the necessities of life, it emphasizes that in these responsibilities, "fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners." As Grig and I have tried to live by these principles, we've found ways to encourage and aid one another in our responsibilities. Every family needs to seek the Lord's guidance as they determine how the Lord wants them to individual adapt.

For those who no longer have husbands or fathers on this earth, I encourage you to turn to your Heavenly Father. He loves us more than we can possibly understand. I have felt a tiny bit of His love for me, and it was almost more than I could handle. The Lord wants what is best for us and our families, and as we try to live our lives in the way He wants us to, we will experience happiness and peace in these turbulent times.

Fathers are an essential part of the family. I can't imagine what my life would be like without my husband and my father. I have learned so much from them. However, if something were to happen to them, I know my Heavenly Father would continue to guide me.

We are not alone. There are others around us who the Lord sends to help us. We are not meant to go through this life alone, and if we put aside our pride and really try to listen, our Heavenly Father will guide us to a better path.

I'm still learning to listen. It is a life-long journey and sometimes it can seem difficult. What I want and what the Lord wants doesn't always mesh. However, when I heed my Father in Heaven, I am always happier and I end up right where I am supposed to be.

Earthly fathers can be imperfect, but our Heavenly Father will never let us down.

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there. Know that you are needed, loved, and appreciated. The impact, good or bad, that you make on your families will last for generations. Try to be the kind of father that your children will try to emulate, and spend time with your family while they are young.

Grig and Kevin are best friends, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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