Posts filed under ‘Father’s Day’
By John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
It was another night of disagreement between my parents, which led to my father’s inevitable drinking. He marched out to his truck with his rifles, saying he was going to kill himself. “You don’t love me. Just wait until I’m gone, then you’ll be sorry.” As the oldest of three sons I once again was put in the position of the “adult”, intervening, taking away his guns, and telling him to go back into the house. I had become “the man of the house” at the age of fifteen.
I don’t remember feeling close to my father, nor looking up to him as a role model or as my hero. As a very young child I know I did, but as I became more aware of him as a real person and not an ideal, I sensed the vacuum in my life– but I didn’t understand it. I knew I wanted to do better in my relationships with my spouse and children than my father did in his.
Soon, my parents separated and I felt lost in terms of what a “man” was supposed to be.
When I found Christian Science in college and began to study its principles, I got a better understanding of who I am as a man. I began to see that I am not the product of the gene pool I came from, nor is my identity rooted in patterns of behavior passed on from generation to generation. I could be something other than the byproduct of expectations placed upon me by society, culture, my parents, or even myself.
The Bible calls man, male and female, the reflection of God. I discovered that I could possess all the qualities that I associate with God and this is the true identity of all of God’s children. I could even see my dad in this light. Because my inherent nature is a reflection of God’s qualities, it is not my responsibility to try and be something other than what God made me to be. Since I consider God to be good, then I must be good as He made me. I strive to live up to His model, rather than follow my father’s patterns.
My true nature, my true manhood, also includes qualities that might commonly be thought of as feminine. By reflecting God, not only do I naturally possess the qualities of strength, courage, endurance, and responsibility, but I also cherish in myself the ability to be loving, kind, gentle, and appreciative of beauty and art. And I see these characteristics in others–both men and women. Since these qualities are expressions of God, they are available to each of us as His creation, not just a chosen few.
Tomorrow we celebrate fathers. To me, everyday is the time to acknowledge the essence of true fatherhood as I see it in God, and to practice this higher manhood as an expression of God’s goodness. God’s fatherhood continues to bless my happy relationship with my own sons.