Proverbs 4:1 – “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.”
When I was a child, I was a bonified ‘Daddy’s Girl.’ Even though I did not grow up with my father in the home, Richard W. Smith was regularly in my life. In my eyes, he was a hero and no man could compare to him.
One very vivid childhood memory, was at about the age of 12, Dad took me to see the movie ‘Tap,’ with Gregory Hines. It was a very happy and exciting day, me and my Daddy, out on a date.
When I look back over my youth, it was on occasions like this and other times at the park, the beach or us just sitting around the table eating some of his homemade German chocolate cake; that my Dad would pour into me words of wisdom, that to this day, I can still lean on at times when I need guidance.
But as I mentioned, I didn’t grow up with my Dad in the house; but his words of wisdom are valuable golden nuggets that have served to be key to my life’s success and have helped me to be the lady I am today.
Similarly, I had a grandfather who also poured into me words of wisdom that have positively impacted my life. I know I am blessed to have this pool of wisdom to pull from at critical decision-making times.
Even though the writer of the text, refers to a father instructing his son(s); this text is of equal relevance to his daughter. We need the wisdom of our Father’s; which is why the stark reality that over 60% of African-American households are ran by women, is a troubling fact to digest. We miss something in the community when the voice of the father goes missing, for whatever reason.
It is my belief that God put something in the voice of a father that cannot be adequately substituted by something else. The power of this simple text helps us to process in part, why so many challenges plague our communities of color, particularly, the voice of wisdom and understanding is missing to a large degree; and we need to reclaim the legacy of the father’s voice.
So on this Father’s Day, we don’t simply celebrate those biological dads, but every man who rises up to interject his voice into families and communities, so wisdom and understanding can still be gained.
So to the coaches, mentors, counselor, clergy, adopted dads, big brothers, play dads and all, we say Happy Father’s Day to you!
Keep teaching, training, coaching, mentoring, sharing, fathering, educating, preaching, and pouring out. We need that fatherly wisdom and understanding.
And then there is the voice of our Heavenly Father, whom we cannot and should not ignore. For when we do, we forego His Wisdom and Understanding for our lives, decisions and choices.
Let this Father’s Day weekend be about more than just cards, ties, balloons and candy; but let us turn our attention back toward the voice of our Heavenly Father, so we may walk in Wisdom and Understanding.