Dedan K. Bruner
A Tribute to Rudel
In a very technical sense, a father is the male parent of a child. However, being a father is much more than technicalities. Excellent parenting skills are somewhat of an anomaly; there is no parenting bible to provide answers for all parenting situations. Most of the time the learning occurs as you are parenting and while a parent may believe they are the teacher, parents often find that they are the learner instead. Being a father often represents, for a man, the transition from Boyhood to Manhood.
Growing up in a household with not only a father present but a great father active and engaged in my life, somehow gave me an unfair advantage, over other young women. I didn’t realize how having a father around was essential to who I was becoming. I saw many young women seek validation through developing relationships with older men and sometimes even becoming pregnant by them. Part of young adulthood is obviously riddled by a desire for love and acceptance. There is a lot of emphasis on gaining validation from people whose validations are not particularly necessary. This is especially common among young women who are seeking validation from men; particularly when there is not a father actively engaged and invested in her development.
Unfortunately, even if a father is present, the most empowered young women can easily be impacted by a man’s attention or a lack thereof. Often, if a daughter doesn’t get love from a father or a father figure she will seek that love elsewhere. Therefore, relationships between fathers and daughters are important. A father will, or should be, the first man a girl will ever love, and that bond only grows stronger over time. My father and I have had lots of great times together, cooking, watching shows, cross country road trips and all these activities and strengthened the bond we have.
My Father taught me how I should be loved and how to love others deeply. I’ve also learned not to accept less than my worth and to always stick up for what I value… because that is how others will value you. As we celebrate Father's Day, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the power in love received from a father to a daughter.