Father’s Day is here and I want to spend a moment honoring these valiant men.
Fatherhood is not for the faint of heart. It brings out the best in a man. It calls on his capacity to love, his honor, his integrity and strength of character, his diligence, his willpower, his physical and emotional strength. True fathers are men who face their battles head on and take on the world to provide for their families and raise their children. True fathers die. They die to the selfishness that is in conflict with their family’s good. They die to the world’s standards of what is “cool” in order to do what is right. And yet, in spite of dying, fathers live. They revel in loving their wives and children well. In providing. In giving good gifts to their families. Through their example, they show us how to live as well. How to selflessly serve each other. Fathering isn’t always limited to physical offspring. Many of us have men in our lives we consider to be a father figure because of their care for our well-being even though we aren’t of the same blood and may not bear their name.
We run to our dads when we need the security of a protecting and reassuring hug. We ask their help untying the knots we can’t because, somehow, their large and work-worn hands are the most dexterous we have ever encountered. They are usually the ones who knew how to get the gum out of our hair with peanut butter when we were children. When we first learn how to drive and our cars break down, our first call is to dad, because we know he’ll know what to do. If we go through a break-up, we appreciate our dads’ effort to cheer us up even if he is a bit clumsy about it. Young women often look at their dads as the model of perfection for what they want in a husband. And a father shows his daughter how she should be valued and loved. In many aspects, he models how a young man should treat her. Boys look to their dad for what it means to be a man, to understand what manliness is.
Fathers aren’t perfect, but we know we can count on them. We know they love us and are there for us. Thank you, dads, for embracing fatherhood and all that it means. Thank you for your love and devotion.