The men are right: stores do include female-interest items in their sales fliers for Fathers Day, and omit male-interest items for their Mother's Day sales fliers. And preachers do brag up moms and exhort dads. Children do tend to be closer to their moms than they are to their dads, and honor moms more than dads.
This isn't always the case, though. When dads/husbands give selflessly of themselves, when they don't brag themselves up, they tend to be honored by their wives and children. Households where there is reason to quote the proverb “Man works from sun to sun, but woman's work is never done,” are households where the husband/father is less likely to be honored on Fathers Day. And households where husband/father takes authority over his wife, makes decisions for her rather than with her, are households where the man is less likely to be honored.
Perhaps surprisingly, this reaction of mothers and children is biblical. Jesus, himself, said it in Matthew 23:12
“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”Dads/husbands who declare their word is law, are exalting themselves. When they come home from work and expect to be served, they are exalting themselves. When they declare their authority is a God-given role, they are exalting themselves, making themselves superior and their wives inferior.
Jesus said, “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” On Mother's Day, children, pastors, and businesses are proclaiming that it is their mother who served them. It is their mother who connected with them and established a closer relationship. It is usually their mother who cared for them when they were sick and listened when they needed someone to care, who kept working after Dad sat down to watch TV, read the newspaper, or went to bed. No amount of “Me Tarzan” posturing makes anyone great. Instead, it is genuine caring and selfless serving that makes a person the greatest among us.
If men want to be honored, they need to stop thumping their own chests, and start genuinely caring about their wives and children. And after they've started caring, they need to keep on caring and cherishing and serving, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. And if they are angry because they haven't been honored after 2 days or a month of serving, they need to admit their motivation was not based on love, but was based on self-gratification and self-adulation, which is hard for others to miss because the stench is so strong. Instead of focusing on the error of those who aren't honoring them enough, they need to refocus on getting their hearts right, to genuinely loving their wives and children, to serve and benefit their wives and children instead of themselves.
After they have genuinely humbled themselves without tooting their horn, and served because of having the best interests of others in mind, then they will be exalted. Jesus said so. But by that time it won't matter, because they aren't doing it for praise; they are doing it because of God-like love.
Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See www.wanetadawn.com A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.