Today is Father's Day. It is and should be a day of celebration. Let Dad, as the joke goes, sit and have a beer and watch the ball game. In short, what he does all the time anyway.
But there is a serious issue here. For years the importance of fatherhood was neglected, and very often by the very fathers we are expected to honor and emulate. Much of it began with government aid programs. When dad became superfluous because our father in Washington would take care of his family anyway, many dads took the message as having taken patriarchical responsibility from their own shoulders, and started to live accordingly. The effects of the broken homes and lack of discipline this encouraged are still being felt in many communities today.
Then, rather than do things which respected families as whole units, mom, dad, and the kids, we began to look at single parenthood, which translated into pure matriarchy, as a virtue. Now, that surely can be. Sometimes it is forced upon mothers with the loss of a father through death or abandonment and may be genuinely heroic in that context. Yet it is hard to believe that most mothers would want that. Most would certainly want the aid of the other parent if for no other reason than help with daily trials. But more, any good parent should see that proper guidance is needed from the masculine and feminine. There is a reason that the right family structure involves both. Each one instructs in its own way, and through which a complete individual is better born.
So on this Father's Day it is best to remember that fathers are needed every day in many ways. If your dad is here, have a beer with him and watch a few innings of the game next to him. If he has passed, have the beer anyway and listen as he nonetheless watches a few innings with you. And if he has simply shirked his responsibilities, pray that he finds the courage to return to his correct role. For as with good mothers, without good fathers we are not whole. No one wants to be half a person.