Last night Kelly Clarkson, the 1st winner of American Idol, sang an emotional song called “Piece by Piece” live on American Idol. I didn’t see it live but when I watched it on YouTube this morning, it was a swinging emotional punch I wasn’t prepared for. It hit me square in the nose … (This is the reason and excuse I will use for the watery substance that filled up in my eyes when watching the video.).  The song drew me in as I listened to a woman tell her story of a man, her husband, coming into her life being the total opposite of her dad. As I listened, I could hear in the lyrics the void of trust she had in men because of the relationship, or lack there of, with her father. A lack of love she had for men because of her father. A lack of self-worth because of her father. In reality, she didn’t know a man was capable of actually, being a man! Her vision and understanding of men was betrayal, pain, and abandonment. The reason for this portrayal? Her father was the first and only example she had. And when she found a true man it “restored [her] faith, That a man can be kind, And a father could stay.”

Expectations of men start with fathers. A daughter absorbs at a young age how her father treats her mother. She absorbs how her father treats her. It sets a standard for what type of man she should choose herself someday. A father is utterly irreplaceable in a daughter’s life. Where else is a young girl going to learn the appreciation and love a husband has for his wife? Where else is she going to learn that a real man won’t leave when the going gets tough? Where else will she learn, “She will never have to wonder her worth”? It won’t be from our culture. It won’t be something taught in public schools. It will be… and can only be… from a father.

In a culture that is pushing for a genderless world, what a great opportunity for real men to showcase the importance of a husband… of a father. St. Josemaria Escriva says it best, “There is need for a crusade of manliness and purity to counteract and nullify the savage work of those who think man is a beast. And that crusade is your work.”

I am so grateful Kelly found a true man despite her past.

I am equally as grateful, whether knowingly or not, she illuminated the importance of men being an example, a father, a husband, a true man.

The desire and thirst for true men is out there. We, as men, have to answer that call. For the sake of our daughters, we must answer that call.

 

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