By Elder Gerald DeForest Tyler
Nationally we observed and celebrated our dear mothers last month and will do likewise for our loving fathers later this month. That said, perhaps now is a good time for me to raise this question to initiate a friendly discussion pursuant to parental love for their children. I have heard for many years from a few people at least, that it is “impossible” for a father to actually love the children born to him and his wife equally as the wife (i.e., mother) loves their children. In other words, it’s said that a father just can’t love the children the same as the mother loves the children. That’s what some folk proclaim.
Here’s my question to you – What is your personal belief about this equal parental love concept? Simply stated, is a father capable or can he love his/their children the same as the mother loves her/their children? That’s my question. Now, it’s not my intention to cause a problem or any serious argument by raising this question, quite the contrary actually. Why it could very well evolve into a good thing for people to engage in a good open-minded, wholesome, honest, frank, and candid dialogue about this equal parental love concept. Is it possible for both parents to love their children the same, or is one parent capable of loving more than the other? Keep in mind that the “operative word or term” here is “capable.”
Now, since I’m the one who put the parental love question up for friendly debate or discussion, I suppose it’s only fair that I share my own position or belief about the matter, and so I will. Here goes – let me be perfectly clear from the outset. Yes, I believe that both parents (i.e., mother and father) are certainly capable of loving their children equally or the same.
Let me share with you the primary reason others, including men, have told me why they believe that a husband or father “cannot” love the children the same as the wife or mother does. They say that a father cannot love the child or children the same as the mother simply because she was the parent who conceived and carried the child buried inside of her for nine months. They say because of that there exists a “special bond” between the mother and child that makes it impossible for the father to love the child the same as the mother does – now that’s what they say.
While I acknowledge that I cannot prove nor disprove what they say, here’s what I do say – hog wash! My belief is that fathers can love their children equally or at the same exact level as mothers do. Yes, our dear mothers conceived and carried us to term – birthed us, but it took both our mothers and fathers to make that happen. My loving mother didn’t conceive me all by herself. I’m here today because of what John and Annie did together to bring me into this world.
Though both of them are in heaven with God now, I’ve always loved the two of them the same. And I’ve always believed that both of my parents were equally capable of loving me the same – and they did! No one can ever convince me otherwise. While I respect other people’s beliefs, that is mine.
Perhaps some folk say fathers are incapable of loving their children as a mother does simply because so many “knuckle-headed” dads just don’t love their children as they should. I concur with that assessment – I’ll give you that much. But because too many fathers don’t love their kids as the mothers do, that doesn’t mean that they’re incapable or that they can’t. There are also mothers who don’t love their children as they should either.
Finally, there are many fathers who seem to love their children more than some mothers who actually gave them birth. And while that may very well be true in many instances, it doesn’t have to be. Both parents are capable of loving their children equally I believe – some do and some don’t. I close with these biblical examples of what I would consider a father’s genuine love for his children that would certainly equal any mother’s love for her children: King David’s love for his baby son as well as for his grown son Absalom (II Samuel 12:13-24 and 18:1-33); the father’s love for his Prodigal Son (Saint Luke 15:11-32); Joseph’s love for Jesus (Saint Matthew 1:18-25); and God’s love for his only begotten Son Jesus Christ was and is the most genuine and strongest love of them all – it’s unmatchable! “Grace and mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied!”
Gerald D. Tyler, an ordained elder with senior pastoral experience, has been a God-called practicing minister since 1977 teaching and preaching the salvation gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.