Thursday, June 13, 2013

Finding Security: A tribute to Fathers

It always seems like Mother's Day outshines Father's Day.  Maybe its because it comes first and we run out of steam by June.  Perhaps it is because in our society, many people find pain associated with their fathers.

I am often reminded at Father's Day of the oft-used saying: Anyone can become a father, but it takes a real man to be a Dad.

Cliche but true.  Dads are so important.  The nurturing love of a mother should not be forgotten, but there is something special about the way a man loves. And that love is so desperately needed in today's society. 

As I've grown older, I've began to understand my own dad's love.  My daddy isn't necessarily the cuddly type.  He is strong, foreboding, intimidating type.  He scares boyfriends away.  He demands respect.  He is a wise leader, knowing when to be quiet and listen and when to take charge.  He admires integrity and responsibility.  He values fathers who financially, emotionally, and spiritually support his family. 

I grew up more scared of my dad than my mom.  Mom was the one you go to when you were crying; Dad was the person you went to when you were in big trouble.  But Daddy was also the one who gave you rides on his shoulders, tickled you before you went to bed, and made you giggle until your stomach hurt.  As I got older, my parents' roles changed.  Dad held veto power over all bathing suit and prom dress purchases.  He took us to dinner before we entered high school to warn us about boys and to encourage purity.

Now, I look at my Dad and see how he's been a father to so many others than just his biological daughters.  He's been a father to my husband, a role model to my friends, a mentor to the lost, a leader in the church.  He's not always right, but he tries every single day.  And many have noticed.  He has earned the respect of many.

When I moved out and started my own home, one of the things I instantly noticed was how much security my dad gave me.  In the small ways: he killed bugs, he fixed cars, he helped with math homework.  In the big ways: he loved my mom, he held me to a standard, he worked to put food on the table.  I realized how much I depended on the security my father had given me.  I always knew that Daddy would be there for me. 

The repercussions of a good man are priceless and irreplaceable.  A strong, Godly man, whether a father or otherwise, has such a positive effect on those around him.  The reverse is also true.

I commend all fathers out there who are doing their hardest to love their family, love their wives, love their church to the best of their abilities.  Don't give up.  You are so important.  Thank you for all you do.

I love you, Daddy.

Soli Deo Gloria.