The key to truly making America great again!

I was recently reading a Reader’s Digest article titled, “The Surprising History of Father’s Day.” I was surprised. Maybe you will be too. And then let me state what is not so surprising.

Mother’s Day had a fairly simple start, being celebrated as far back as the 1860s. It became a national holiday in 1914, paving the way for Father’s Day.

Reader’s Digest explained, “The history of Father’s Day goes back to 1908 when a church in West Virginia held a sermon to honor 362 men who were killed the previous year in a coal mining explosion. This was the country’s first ever event to strictly honor fathers, but it was just a one-and-done thing. Nothing really came of it.”

RD continues: “The following year, however, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd started her quest to establish Father’s Day as a national holiday. Dodd was one of six raised by her single father and thought fathers should be honored the same way as mothers. After a year of petitioning her local community and government, Dodd’s home state of Washington celebrated its first official Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. Over the years, the celebration of Father’s Day spread from state to state and, after a long fight, it was finally declared a national holiday in 1972 when President Nixon signed it into law.”

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Sixty years passed before Father’s Day became a national holiday, and it was born through adversity, just like fathering is. In fact, according to History.com, in the 1920s and 1930s, there was a national movement to trash both Mother’s and Father’s Day and replace them with one “Parent’s Day.” I’m glad that didn’t happen.

Now, Father’s Day is celebrated globally, but on different days by different countries. In South America, Father’s Day is March 19. In Australia and Fiji, it’s on the first Sunday in September. And of course in America and Europe, it falls on the third Sunday in June.

Whether or not one wants to celebrate Father’s Day is of course up to each person. What’s more critical is that we all elevate the role of fatherhood as a critical part of restoring the hearts and lives of our families, communities and country.

You’ve seen the stats, but ponder them anew.

The one common denominator of many of society’s ills – human trafficking, abortion, rape, murder, alcoholism, teen suicide, and incarceration – can be traced to one thing: absentee fathers.

• The US Department of Health indicates that 63 percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes, and that 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes too.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that 85 percent of all children who show behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
• The international journal Criminal Justice and Behavior stated that 80 percent of rapists with anger problems come from homes where a father is absent.
• Fatherless homes contribute to the national dropout rate among high school students too, revealing that 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from homes where a father is absent.
Study after study show, children who feel a closeness to their father are: twice as likely as those who do not to enter college or find stable employment after high school, 75% less likely to have a teen birth, 80% less likely to spend time in jail, and half as likely to experience multiple depression symptoms.
• And the statistics go on and on about the detrimental effects of absentee fathers.

From the above statistics alone, it is easy to see that men who have abdicated their role as fathers is the single greatest problem in society today But it’s also the way to restore society as well!

Making America great again is not just an economic restoration. In fact, it’s more about making Americans great again. And chief among them are fathers and their children.

It’s truly staggering to consider the power of the paternal. The transformative power of dads in the entire family unit can be clearly seen in the Heritage Foundation’s YouTube: “The Good Dad: “The Transformative Power of Fatherhood for Men and Children.” I encourage everyone to watch it.

In the March 2018 edition of New Scientist, there was a great article titled, “Dad power: The surprising new science of fatherhood.” In it, Dr. Anna Machin, who is an anthropologist at the University of Oxford, discovered (or rediscovered) that fatherhood comes with a raft of changes to the mind and body. Those changes are taken for granted in mothers, but not often regarded or researched in men.

Some aspects of fatherhood come instinctively but many others have to be learned and even championed. We all fail at aspects of fatherhood, but what’s important is never giving up on it. Failure is not fatal. We have to fight for fatherhood – ours and others. But the payoff is clear by reversing the above statistics.

Don’t misunderstand me. I wholeheartedly believe in the Spanish proverb that says, “An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.”

But I also believe that men and fathers hold a unique role and power to build up and even restore our households, communities and even country.

I truly believe as families go, so goes the nation.

Dads possess three specific keys (powers) that can draw their family members nearer to each other as well make each a better person and citizen.

Here are the 3-Ms I encourage all men and particularly dads to be: models to their children, mentors to their children and motivators of their children.

First, before a dad shows the way, he must go the way. He must be a model of decency, love and discipline to his kids, especially as they start out as young kids and adolescents.

• In this modeling stage, our words and actions are saying to our kids, “Watch me, and I’ll show you how to live.”

Second, dads must then be and stay intentionally involved in their kids’ lives. Too many dads defer their parenting to moms. Dads need to mentor kids to choose right from wrong and make wise choices.

• In this mentoring stage, our words and actions are saying to our kids, “I’ll intentionally help you along the way.”

Last, particularly as kids age through teenage years and into young adulthood, a dad must be one of his kids’ greatest cheerleaders or motivators.

• In this motivating stage, our words and actions are saying to our kids, “I’ll cheer you on to success!”

The truth is, the position of dad is far more powerful than any president ever will be!

For those who struggle with fatherhood, or think being a great dad will make you lose your toughness or masculinity, consider what Gen. Douglas Macarthur, who commanded the Southwest Pacific in World War II (1939-1945), said about fatherhood: “By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder – infinitely prouder – to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentiality of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle field but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, ‘Our Father who art in Heaven.'”

Which reminds me of one other tough loving father: God. The Hebrew Scripture says in Psalm 103:13: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”

The truth is: the true measure of fatherhood is what happens after Father’s Day – after a dad has been honored by his children, or even whether or not he has at all.

For it is the duty and honor of a father to value his children even more than he expects to be valued by them.

While I am overjoyed to be the recipient of my children’s love on Father’s Day, I seriously don’t believe their affection can hold a match to my adoration for them – and I’m determined to find multiple ways in this life to continue to demonstrate that to them.

I’m so proud of my seven kids! Yes, seven! Mike, Dina, Eric, Kelley, Tim, Dakota, and Danilee! I’m honored to be their father, and in awe of the amazing adults they’ve all turned out to be!

My wife Gena and I join families everywhere in celebrating fatherhood this week and always!

If you want to get your dad a great Father’s Day summer gift, plan to watch together my new action movie, “Agent Recon,” which is being released in a week on Friday, June 21. You can read all about my thoughts on the film in my former column, “Photos and news about my new action film.” I’m excited to be back in action in this sci-fi thriller! Watch the trailer here.

Most of all, encourage the power of fatherhood in everyone you know, and let’s truly make America great again, one dad at a time!

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Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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