When mama said that is was okay
Mama said that is was quite alright
Our kind of people had a bed for the night
And it was okay
Mama told us that we were good kids
And daddy told us never listen to the ones
Pointing nasty fingers and making fun
‘Cause we were good kids ( Christopher Brown, Martin Charnin, Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Ristorp Jensen, Morten Pilegaard, Charles Strouse, 2018).
Dad’s love will show you what to love!
Can you recall an instant where Dad refused you something – a toy, a treat, permission to attend an event, or even demanded that you change your outfit because he thought it revealed too much?
Who did you appeal to? The one he loves – Mom!
Or, can you recall when Dad encouraged your dream when others doubted, taught you how to solve a problem that you just could not fix, or introduced you to someone you always admired?
Who did you report to? Mom!
Your mom, his mom, his sister, or his aunt – there is a mom that he has taught you to love as he loves. Why is this so important? Because Dad’s love teaches you how to honor all that he loves. Dads set standards for their children, including the men their daughters will respect and the women their sons will love. If Dad loves it, his children will reason that “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
While I have been working on this blog and framing my next project, I’ve been reading one of my mother’s coffee table books, Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success by Steve Harvey (2014). In it he shares an important standard that his father set for his success. He told him that success would inevitably attract enemies. But he told him to “never take my foot off a ladder to kick at someone who was kicking at me. When I did that, I would no longer be climbing”(p. 192).
This allowed Steve to survive all that he has to reinvent himself, and enjoy one of the most successful careers in media today. More than just talking about success, Steve’s Dad showed him the kind of wealth that he wanted most in his life.
Today, “… the lights of my world are my wife, Marjorie, our seven children, and working at something I truly love to do. But even beyond those blessings, success is also about truly being in the moment when I am with my family and having the energy and right frame of mind to continue doing the work that I love” (203).
You can have it too if you stop looking through someone else’s windows and start looking at how Dad loves. Even if you do not have a great male role model for a father, Father God created you perfectly (Psalm 139) and gave you life so that you can enjoy the balance of sorrow and joy.
The standards that Dad set will leave an indelible mark on the world far beyond just his children. How do I know this? By what others have to say when they see you, especially in the middle of a crisis. A few months ago we had several crises that faced our family. One day, a visiting relative said to me, “Well, your mom never really left you kids.” What did she see? She saw that I stayed close to my mother to ensure that she would be well at the end of it. So, it must have triggered a memory of our past when we travelled ever summer to visit with them or someone else. Everywhere my mom went, her children went with her.
So, now that my Dad is gone and my mom remains, it is natural to love the way that he loved because we lived it for many years. It is simply our foundation.
A launching pad that we cherish dearly; and one that continues to sustain us through all the seasons of life. So, to my Dad, Alfred E. Mitchell, Snr., thanks for loving Marcia E. Mitchell well. You set standards then that are still calling each of us higher.
If you are a Dad, and you have been celebrating with me all month, then give care to how you love what you love. Your children are walking steadfastly in your shoes!
Check out possible gifts for Dad this month at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD. A new book For a Teacher’s Heart was released recently. If your Dad taught you great lessons, maybe this is a gift that he would enjoy. If not, there are other insights for him into the minds of his sons and daughters.