This quote – “No success can compensate for failure in the home” – this was posted by Mia Love (a pro-life politician from the US) as she was writing online about her own father. The quote comes from David O’McKay, who Google tells me was the ninth president of the Mormon church. At this point, my Mum would gasp and say, “Don’t you know who David O’McKay is?!”, to which I would reply, “No, Mum, that’s why I just asked you, “Who is David O’McKay?””. Thankfully, we don’t have to have that conversation because this is a blog, but I thought I’d put it in there in case anyone had a similar reaction to my ignorance. Despite being a Mormon, O’McKay seemed to say some pretty amazing things.
I believe that how you were raised will shape you for the rest of your life. This is why I cannot understand why many people take such little care in ensuring that their children are not exposed to harmful people or ideas during their childhood. How is it that people don’t know where their children are at night, for example? This amazes me.
Think about how your upbringing shaped you. You spend many many more years outside of the home, compared to those you spent growing up with your parents and siblings. And yet, really, you are the way you are because of how you grew up. Just think about the weaknesses and strengths in your personality. Don’t you think that these were formed because of events in your childhood? I never thought about this until recently, but it struck me that I am this person almost entirely due to my childhood.
Maybe we’d like to think that university or our career ‘made’ us. Yes, maybe you become more confident and knowledgeable because of your time studying. Maybe you came out of your shell a bit more because of a new job and new friends, but when it comes down to it, when it comes down to how you react when you are hurt or in love, for example, I think that these reactions stem from our childhood.
I imagine that it is quite terrifying to think that everything you do as a parent can make or break your child. But what is also consoling is that God gave us, in the form of a mother and father, the two most important components for success in the home. I can’t remember where I read it (sorry, not very academic, but this is a blog with pink and blue font), but apparently not having a father in the home has a more devastating effect on a child’s development than not having a mother. I guess this makes sense. Although I know that when I am most upset, I always call on my mum first, I suppose a father is the rock on which the family is built. He may not be the one who kisses your scraped knee better, but a father seems to bind a family together in many ways, just by his very presence.
As we all know, so many people deny that every child should ideally have a father and a mother. Foolishly, Western society has largely come to believe that two women or two men can adequately play mummy and daddy and this will have no effect whatsoever on the children. Children will turn out to be well-rounded individuals, and we can all bake cakes and have the quintessential English childhood, but without all the superfluous trimmings, like biological parents. Well, we’ll soon come to see how badly this works out. In the meantime, let’s be thankful for those of us who had fathers who tried as hard as they could to foster success in the home. If anyone has ever had a perfect childhood, that Person was Jesus Christ. Other than Him, I think many of us can say that our imperfect fathers probably tried their very best and that is what I am thankful for this Father’s Day.