I’m quite certain that I didn’t I fully understood my Dad until our first child was born… but in that moment, I realized my Dad had spent my entire life protecting me, providing for me, teaching me, guiding me, exposing me to different experiences, people, places and the world. We did things together, made things, went places (trips and camping).
He taught me that hard work, honesty and integrity pays off. He shaped me into the man I am today. He loved me unconditionally, no matter what antics (and there were antics) he had to put up with. There was this one time with the snowmobile…
He supported me, and prepared me to go out into the world with confidence, while knowing someone would always have my back no matter what – and he still does. He taught me how to use the BBQ (charcoal by the way) and then never did the grilling again. He taught me how to change the implements on the garden tractor and then pretty much let me keep going.
He taught me to be kind and fair to people, no matter where they come from, what language they speak, what they look like, who they love, or what they believe.
My Dad is my voice of reason. My Dad is my hero… It’s an amazing thing to be a Father, and a huge responsibility not to be taken lightly. Our kids study and absorb our every move, and hang off every word – even when we don’t think they’re listening. And then repeat them out loud at the most inopportune moment.
As we approach Father’s Day, maybe we can all learn a few parenting lessons from the only perfect Father. Matthew records the astonishing moment when God the Father showed up at his Son’s baptism. “A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:17)
The Father’s example provides four powerful lessons.
Identity – This is my Son. I can see the Father smiling and announcing, That’s my boy! Proudly affirm your family bonds.
Love – Whom I love. Expressions of love, especially publicly, cement the relationship. Tell them often, I love you!
Approval – With him I am well pleased. Affirmation goes beyond our shared genetic bonding. Approving of choices, character development, and performance encourages more of the same. When deserved, lavish approval.
Attendance – The Father made sure He attended His Son’s baptism. Showing up for our children’s big moments are powerful expressions of identity, love, and approval.
This Father’s Day, take a page from God the Father’s playbook. Affirm your children’s identity, tell them you love them, express your approval for the good things in their lives, and spend time with them, especially during the significant moments of their lives.
Thank you Dad, for everything.
Happy Father’s Day!!
**Some content borrowed from Dan Bolin, President, Refueling in Flight Ministries