Sunday is Father’s Day, so I thought a post about dads would be appropriate. Especially since I had the best dad on the planet. Was he perfect? Nope. And I bet yours wasn’t either. But really, isn’t that a relief? Because if they were perfect, it would make our own mistakes that much more glaring. So here are six things my dad did that made him the best. I could probably make a hundred more lists like this.
- He sacrificed for us. We didn’t necessarily know this at the time, but in hindsight, I can see many times when Dad worked when he’d rather have played; went without so we could have everything we needed; and played, when he might rather have slept.
- He laughed. This may not seem like a big deal, but do you know how much tension laughter can kill? Me either, but I know it’s a lot. And even though my dad was the tougher of my parents when we were young, he still laughed a lot and made us laugh, too. That’s a tremendous gift.
- He taught us stuff. Important stuff, like how to throw and catch a baseball; how to pray; to do a job right the first time; how to save money; and the importance of saying you’re sorry when you’ve hurt someone.
- He loved our mom. My mom and dad genuinely liked each other. They enjoyed being together. They got annoyed with each other. They worked as a team and showed us what a real relationship looked like, warts and all. It was an example I still look to in my own marriage.
- He didn’t always bend to us. My sister and I still talk about the time her doll’s dress flew out the car window when we were barreling down the freeway on vacation. She cried for him to go back to get it, but he refused. After all, you can’t just turn around on a major highway, but we didn’t understand that. We thought he was the meanest dad alive that day. But even then we learned things, like life doesn’t always go our way. Sometimes we can’t get things back, so hang on to things that mean a lot to you. Thanks, Dad. Lesson learned.
- He shared his faith. Dad’s love for God was palpable. He made no secret of it to us or anyone else. He showed us that the best way to share our faith is by loving other people. Step into their mess. Hug them. Listen. Dry tears. Offer a helping hand. Encourage them. He did this for so many people their stories still ring in my ears today. He did it for others and he did it for us. Unreservedly.
This August will be ten years since my dad died. But I can still hear his resonant, deep, bass voice singing. His laugh echos through our family gatherings. Most of all, I remember his big, tight hugs that said more than all his words combined.
Maybe your dad wasn’t so great or was absent from your life, and if so, I’m truly sorry. There is a Father who will never leave you or forsake you, who will stand up for you and defend you. He already loves you more than all the words in the Bible could ever say. Claim him as your very own Dad this Father’s Day. Why? Because you deserve the very best.