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Fathers as role models
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Someone wrote that a good father is his daughter’s first love and his son’s first hero. 

Father’s Day was started by Sonora Dodd because she loved her dad. He was also her hero. 

Dr. Meg Meeker, author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. wrote, “The biggest mistake Dads make is not understanding the influence they have on their sons and daughters!” 

Valarie King, a Penn State associate professor of family studies said, “A father’s involvement with his child’s upbringing can have a significant impact on his or her academic achievements and behavior.”

A boy learns what a man is and does from his father. From him, he learns about masculinity and what men like and don’t like. He learns to respect women and to cherish their gifts. One of the greatest gifts fathers can give their children is to love their mother. Children who see their dad loving their mom helps sons learn how to relate to women and helps daughters expect men to respect them. 

Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.” 

As a child, Dr. Norman Lobsenz arose at midnight to get a drink. As he passed his parent’s bedroom, he saw his father sitting at his ill mother’s bedside. Norman exclaimed, ”Daddy! Is Mommy getting worse?”

“No, Norman,” his father whispered. “I’m watching in case she wakes up and needs something!” 

Norman remembered this example of his dad’s sacrificial love in “sickness and health.” He tried to imitate his dad’s sacrificial love in his marriage.

Children often inherit their parents’ physical characteristics. Through good example parents also pass on qualities like integrity, honesty, love of God and others. Dad was a loyal parishioner who respected teachers, Sisters and clergy. When he finally saved enough money to buy the Sisters a freezer, he seemed happier that they were!

In reaction to his father’s excessive drinking, Dad didn’t drink alcoholic beverages unless he had a rare cold. I’m grateful for this because I’ve seen how alcoholism can hurt family and other relationships. Dad was not against responsible drinking. 

It takes a strong father to love, cherish and help raise children. A healthy sense of humor also helps. 

On Father’s Day, if our father is alive, we can show we appreciate him by visiting him, sharing dinner or calling him. If he has died, we can pray for him. We can thank our Dad (and Mom) by being a loving responsible son or daughter. 

Happy Father’s Day to all dads!

Lange, the retired pastor of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Hazel Green, lives in Platteville.