What is your number one desire you wanted from your dad?

On January 31, 2011, in Fatherhood, Feature, by Michael

I often thought about this question and have asked many others about what their number one desire was. What I’ve come up with is unconditional love.

I often thought about this question and have asked many others about what their number one desire was. What I’ve come up with is unconditional love. When talking to a young father recently who got to see his son for the first time I was reminded of how important that unconditional love is to a person and especially to a man. This young man never knew his father and never really had a good father figure in his life. He grew up on the streets without parental oversight and was very hard. He ended up getting himself into trouble with the authorities and having to serve some time. His son was born without him being able to see it and it wasn’t until a month later that he was able to hold his son for the first time. I asked him how that felt and his face lit up with joy and he said “I didn’t want to let him go. You know I never knew my father and all I ever wanted was to feel his love. Holding my son made me realize that I need to change so I can be there for him and let him know how much I love him.”

It was a very powerful moment to me to realize how important that unconditional love was to this young man who never knew what it was like to have a father in his life. This young man has a hard and difficult journey ahead of him and hopefully he will find a good father figure to help him along the way. I never had it that hard, but I could relate to wanting to know that my father loved me unconditionally.   I knew it with my mind, but I didn’t with my heart and it hurt. It made me try to earn his love or approval and that never seemed to make a difference.

When it came time for me to love my own children I followed the same example that I knew. Then one day I realized that my children were turning out just like I had. It shook me and made me want to change. I can tell you that change is never easy when you have to go back to examine where you learned how to father your children. When you see how your words and action were hurtful instead of nurturing. You thought you were helping them by being hard on them so they would be strong and you would be proud of how they performed in public. You were more concerned with what others thought then how your child felt. Although it’s hard to admit you’ve done things that were wrong and hurtful, it’s where you need to start.

A father has so much power in a child’s life whether he understands it or not. That child wants his love and approval more than anything else you have. It doesn’t mean that you let them do whatever they want just to make them happy. It does mean that you watch over them with a loving eye and concern for what they are doing with their lives and are not afraid to step in to correct wrong behavior. We need to be involved in their lives and let them see how our heart and how we deal with different issues in life as they come up. We have to be willing to admit our mistakes and learn how to forgive and be forgiven. Our children need to see that their father cares and loves them unconditionally. What would you say is the number one desire that you wanted from your dad?

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