As I think about the things that formed me into the man I am, near the top of the list is my amazing dad. My dad was (and still is) a strong and seemingly fearless man. I still remember times—in the Yakima theater, in a public restroom, on the front door of a neighbor’s house—where dad stood up for and protected me and my sister. It actually scared me a little bit, seeing this tough side of my father, but it was also incredibly comforting to know that we were in his care. I have been told that I have a low tolerance for injustice. If that is so, Dad passed that on to me.
Dad also provided a model of integrity. He was (and is) a man of his word; a “handshake-is-enough” kind of a guy. He was a generous man. He taught me to tithe—to give my first 10 percent to the Lord. And he was ALWAYS the guy to pick up the check. Sometimes, I felt people took advantage of him, but he was willing to risk that. He never—never—never even hinted at a flirtation with another woman. He was utterly faithful to my mom. He was present at every important moment in my life, cheering from the stands or from afar. I still get calls from him on a Sunday afternoon telling me that it was a “great sermon.” And I still drink it up.
When I first learned that a majority of men my age had never heard their father speak to them the words, “I love you,” I almost didn’t believe it. My father had, for all of my life, told me he loved me and that he was proud of me. He still does—and it still matters. I could hardly believe that a kid could grow up without the verbal nourishment that a father’s unstinting praise provides.
No man is perfect, of course. But dads don’t need to be perfect. They just need to be good and present. My dad was (and is) both.
This weekend, we’re celebrating dads. For some, that’s a gift, for others pain, and for others sorrow. Whatever Father’s Day means to you, I hope you find healing this weekend as we explore the gift of fatherhood and the love of our God and Father.
Next steps you can take this weekend:
- Bring the family (and some friends!) and celebrate Father’s Day at Chapel Hill. We’ll provide the root beer floats, putting station, bounce house, and music (classic rock at the Saturday 6:30 pm and Sunday 10:45 am services, and bluegrass on Sunday at 9:00 am)! Festivities occur after every service. This is a great opportunity to invite someone new to visit church with you.
- Looking for support in your own personal and parenting journey? Try a LifeGroup!