For me, Round One was not such that I would have predicted a mushy Father’s Day blog post in my future.
(Who would have ever predicted blogs, anyway?)
My experience with this Hallmark holiday was aptly described by author, Leslie Leyland Fields:
Some will turn away from thirty minutes at the card rack empty-handed and sad.”
Then, miracle of miracles, I said, “Yes, I do,” and four years later I was living, again, with a Dad — only this time?
This time the Dad is imperfectly — but faithfully — taking his cues from a heavenly Father. This changes everything. It changes every day life, and it changes Father’s Day. I’m thankful from the bottom of my heart to be celebrating a dad who says:
“There’s no place I’d rather be than with my family.”
The Lord your God in your midst,The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
However, family time doesn’t just happen! Someone has to make a plan for it.
“Hey, it’s time for a beach day!”
Pack the sturdy shovels, load a cooler stuffed with food to last the whole day, build a drift wood fortress “better than everyone else’s,” and the day will always be a memory-maker.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
The truth is that full coolers and size 12 shoes and piano lessons and home school curriculum come at a cost, but when the Real Dad goes to the grocery store with a list including flour, he comes home with twenty pounds. When he talks to the farmer down the road, he makes arrangements to buy a freezer full of meat.
“If one job doesn’t pay the bills, I’ll get two . . . or even three!”
. . . let your soul delight itself in abundance. (Isaiah 55:2)
I am frequently a spectator to the “boy culture” in our home, peering through the testosterone haze and drawing conclusions about life from the male perspective. From the earliest days, I have over-reacted to their stunts, particularly when those stunts have involved rooftops. One day, after a particularly deep snowfall, I learned that the two oldest boys had been . . .
. . . climbing onto the woodshed roof and jumping off!
A few hours after forbidding the reckless behavior of my sons, I greeted their Dad, home from work and ready to listen to my daily litany of, “You won’t believe what they did today!” The two boys were nearby as their Dad heard about “the woodshed incident.”
“Show me what you did,” he said with a smile.
Mittens, snow suits, laughter, and boots carried them to the “scene of the crime.” His conclusion?
The snow was deep enough to catch them; the roof was not too high.
Will they remember this, someday, when they think God is unapproachable because of something they’ve done?
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
And when it comes to life’s questions, a Dad with sons is forever on the hook. No topic should be off limits for either parent to discuss, but when it comes time to talk about the responsibility and blessing of being a man, a boy needs time and straight talk from the Dad. Will he side step the issue?
“I want to be the one who tells them.”
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8)
Therefore, this Father’s Day, if I turn away from the card rack empty-handed, it will not be with sadness.
This time, the reason will be that there is no card that can wrap around the fullness of a home,
the richness of a family,
the blessedness of a life
with a faithful and Christ-following Dad.
Celebrating with joy and gratitude,
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