Picture this. You’ve closed the biggest deal ever for your family hustle; a deal which will take you all to the next dimension. You excitedly rush home with a bottle of bubbly, a bouquet and chocolate, but your better half hardly gives you a passing glance and continues following gossip on social media.
Or you’ve worked your fingers to the bone; then scrimped, saved and sacrificed to surprise your family with a dream holiday or a new ride, or moved them up to their dream neighbourhood, but they don’t notice. Or ... (dads and husbands, fill in the blanks).
These are treatments fathers endure. These are silent burdens husbands bear. Which add on to the weight of responsibility they are already carrying. Which make them feel like they are being taken for granted. Fathers and husbands have emotions too. They have feelings, which at times are hurt by what may appear to be small matters.
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At times when we’re given the silent treatment after we’ve given our all, we act like we’ve got it together. We put on a show. We pretend that it’s all good. But it’s a facade. Don’t be fooled, fam. We’re holding back screams.
Our pride and position won’t allow us to tell you these things, but we are dying to hear you - wife and kids - say we are appreciated; that we’re the best in the world.
The words don’t sound the same when we hear them from our peers and bosses. When these words come from your mouths, they aren’t but soothing music to our ears. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but we don’t want to hear these words once a year, on Father’s Day; but on the Sunday after ... and every single time.
We may act tough, but, deep inside, there’s a soft spot that wants to be tickled. And whoever gets that soft spot, and knows how to work it, often takes away a brother’s breath and bread.
What ight happen when family doesn’t respond to a father’s need for appreciation and gratitude? He can walk right into the lair and laps of another woman. This is a wily woman who liberally dishes appreciation and gratitude to fathers and husbands who’ve been starved to death of these two victuals.
This is a smart sister who can smell a scorned brother from 18 blocks away; and when her prey merely changes her light bulb, she’ll heap praises on the brother you’ll think he beat Thomas Edison at inventing the light bulb. And, fortunately, or unfortunately - depending on where you’re standing - he’ll be turned into her moth, and will revolve around that light bulb till he burns out.
I had always looked at Colossians 3:23 and 24 (AMP) as being a directive to employees: “Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah).”
Context is king. The same chapter, from verse 19, details who the rewards are for; husbands, fathers, wives, children and servants. Men are specifically mentioned twice; as husbands and as fathers. Double responsibilities. Double rewards.
For fathers and husbands who are starved of gratitude and acknowledgement at home, have a good attitude. God’s got you. Be of good cheer when carrying out your duties.
Don’t fret and stop doing your thing because you’re unsung, unseen and uncelebrated by your family. Don’t revenge, in any form or shape. Don’t be angry or frustrated. And don’t be ensnared by the odes and platitudes of another woman.
Flip the script. Now. Right now. Get in the habit of patting yourself on the back. Celebrate yourself. Spoil yourself rotten. You’ve earned it. You deserve it. Make no excuses about it. Stand in front of your mirror and tell that man that he’s doing a damn good job.
There’s a reward, bro. There’s an inheritance, hommie. Whatever you’re doing for and to your family isn’t in vain. If there’s comeuppance for mistreating your family, then, most assuredly, there are blessings for sowing good seeds.
Now, don’t just do good. Do better. Regardless.