It is easier to be a celebrity than to be a true Father. Fatherhood is being an example to our children and those coming after us. Fatherhood shows who we are, not who we appear to be. True fatherhood requires a deep relationship with those we are fathers to – children or protégés and not just superficial interactions.
Fatherhood is about love first and foremost, a sacrificial love that leaves us open to hurts and makes us cry sometimes, like Christ did, over Jerusalem and like God does over mankind.
Most of us men shy away from Fatherhood because it strips us down to our basic humanness without the façades, accolades and titles we like to hide under, leaving us truly naked. As a Father, you are not Mr President or CEO, you are simply Daddy – your layers of covering do not count and that is the richest place to be. A true Daddy is also capable of being a true son of our heavenly Father, naked and unashamed.
I think Fatherhood is practice for our roles and assignments in the world. If we fail at it, it is impossible to truly succeed in our various roles, because our mission in the world require the spirit of fatherhood. If it is the only thing we succeed at, we have truly succeeded.
I honor my Dad, Femi Ilesanmi this Father’s day. I cannot begin to be who I am and who I am becoming, without your investments, your example, your “I believe in you’s“, and how you are living the name, “Ilesanmi” which means “my home is a good place”, a name that requires sacrificing for my “Ilé” – home above all. A name that requires that charity begin at home – “Ilé latí késhò r’òde.”