(This is a rerun of last year’s Father’s Day post. I thought it deserved another run. Happy Father’s Day to the three great fathers in my life!)
Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father! ~Lydia M. Child, Philothea: A Romance, 1836
It’s Father’s Day weekend and there is so much to say about fathers. Father’s Day is a bittersweet remembrance for me. My own father abandoned our family many years ago. I haven’t seen him in upwards of two decades. He’s never met most of his grandchildren. I’m not sure he knows some of them exist. Sad.
You would think with an experience like mine, I would be ripe for bitterness around Father’s Day but nothing could be further from the truth. Despite not having a dad of my own, the Lord in His gracious providence has filled that hole in my life tenfold!
First he brought my dear husband into my life. What a diamond in the rough he was but I liked him! I had no idea the adventure the Lord had in store for me when Mr. P came sauntering into that Banana Republic where I worked nearly 27 years ago. How my life changed in that providential moment! One of the ways the Lord changed my life was through Grandman, as he’s affectionately called by his grandchildren.
I met my husband and before I knew he was going to be my husband, he acclimated me into some of his dearest friendships. One of those family friends was Grandman. Grandman is the father of my husband’s best childhood friend. I spent many hours at Grandman’s table. I spent many hours under his wise counsel and leadership. He was my father when I had none. He was my stability when I had none. He was my wisdom when I had none. He showed me the love of Christ when my mind wasn’t even stayed on such things. Grandman was, and continues to be, as dear to me as any father could be to his girl. He and his dear wife are a treasure to our family. They have children and grandchildren of their own but that never stopped them from loving the handfuls of young people that found their way to their kitchen table and needed them for small things and sometimes big things. They love us all even now that we’re a lot little older and a lot little grayer. Grandman married us, coming up on 26 years ago. My life wouldn’t be the same without him.
My own sweet father-in-law is especially dear to me. He embodies all the qualities I see in my husband and I love him for the love lessons he passed on to the man who is in turn passing them on to our own children. He is a noble man of honor, selfless and giving to all of his children and grandchildren. He has made me feel loved and a part of the family since the day I met him at his front door when Mr. P was cooking a special dinner for me at his house. He probably doesn’t remember that day, but I do. He was so welcoming. Over the years he put up with all our childish antics. He never criticized us even when we were doing something ridiculous and he knew it. He just accepted us as his children and loved us anyway. When it came time to name our baby boy… the baby boy that was a special redemptive gift of God, we knew he needed a special name. We named him after my father-in-law. Those are big and lofty shoes to fill but we want to give our son a challenge and we hope he makes his namesake proud.
Then there is the greatest father I know. My husband. When he came rolling up in that jeep with no doors in cowboy boots and a swagger, I (foolishly) wasn’t evaluating him for what kind of father he would be. I just thought his quiet confidence was intoxicating. Thankfully, the Lord’s providential hand was guiding my steps because I was getting the best father a girl could hope to have for her babies. Like his own father, my husband takes such joy in his children. He calls to ask me to keep the baby up so he can say goodnight to him before he goes to bed. He thinks of amazing ‘thrill seeking adventures’ to take the children on. He sacrifices many of his own hobbies and toys for the children’s hobbies and toys. If they need it, he provides it. If they want it, he moves heaven and earth to give it. He would do absolutely anything to make us happy. Anything. I have to be careful not to take advantage of that. It’s a nice problem to have.
What does it take to be a good father or even a great father? Passionate love and devotion for family, staunch integrity, sacrificial love, and humility before the greatest Father of them all.
And I have three such men in my life. I am richly blessed!
Happy Father’s Day to the world’s three best fathers!
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. ~Psalm 103:13