He stretches his arms out, and they leap.
He hovers over like a monster, and they run.
He turns on the lawn mower, and they jump on his lap.
He slips on his shoes to head outside, and they squeal with anticipation.
He lays down beside them, and they listen to his voice.
My husband…he knows how to play. I love that.
My husband…he offers provision and protection and strength. I love that.
My husband…he teaches and cuddles and laughs. I love that.
Their daddy…he’s the first man in my kids’ lives. I love that.
My husband and I have had numerous conversations about our dads and how they’ve shaped us – their words, their tones, their action (or in-action), their jokes, their conversations, their attitude, their work, their presence. We always come to the same conclusion…the first man in our lives have deeply impacted our view of masculinity and fatherhood and how valuable the feminine soul is. And, we also have come to understand, that what we experienced in our fathers has also deeply impacted the way we have come to view God.
A father’s role – it’s powerful. He spills into us in subtle and profound ways.
As we enter yet another “family” holiday this Sunday, I hope to be a voice who encourages us to celebrate the fathers in our lives. Dig a little ways back – to the days when you lived with your father or male caretaker. What do you remember? About him? About his heart for you? About his heart for your mom? About his heart for others? About his heart for God? Who was he? Really. I don’t mean how did he live out of his brokenness and hurt, but rather, in what ways did he image God? What was he amazing at? What ways did he tell the world that being a man was a good thing? For sure there were hard parts about our relationship with our father, but who did God create him to be and how did you see and experience that in him?
And then, if you’re a dad, how do you see those good things in you?
And, if you’re a mom, how do you see those good things in your husband?
And, if you’re a son or daughter, how do you see those good things in your dad? Still. Today.
You may just have gained more than you thought from your dad. It’s amazing how so much good gets passed down. Sometimes it just gets hidden behind fear or work or hurt or shame or others.
Maybe we need to open our eyes a bit wider so that we can see, really see…our father, our husband, their daddy.
And then, let’s shout out and affirm and celebrate what we see…in our home, with our friends, to the world.
So dads…as you sense a little extra love this Sunday, may you know that we are rooting for you. We believe in you. The best parts of you show up in us, in our kids. We love that.
May you know that you are honorable, respectable and good.
And, may you be even more aware of God’s eyes, God’s smile, God’s heart, God’s delight. Upon you.
Happy Father’s Day!