As Father’s Day approaches, I want to share an edited version of a letter sent to me years ago by a listener named Sergio Ferreira.
When I was a teenager I wished, just as you do now, that my dad could be my best friend. However, it wasn’t until my time to be a father came up when I understood why my wish would never come true.
There is the big difference between a friend’s role and father’s role.
A father must provide his son constant love, economic subsistence, and an education. He must also protect and guide him, set a good example, and instill in him ethical and moral values so he may become a more responsible, self-sufficient, and compassionate human being.
A father who tries to be a best friend can’t be a real father. To be a friend is voluntary. It’s an option. To be a father is a privilege, but above all it’s a moral obligation.
My duty as a father is to give you what you need, not necessarily what you want.
When you were born, God gave me a blessing that has brought me great happiness. At the same time, He gave me a difficult mission – to be responsible for your moral development and well-being.
Some day you’ll understand the meaning of this letter. It will be one of the happiest days of your life – when you hold your first child in your arms. From that moment on, you’ll understand that being a real father is much more important than being a friend.
This is Michael Josephson wishing all fathers and their children a glorious day of mutual appreciation and understanding love.