Good Dads. Priceless.
In honor of Father’s Day and the awesomeness of dads all over the world, I’d like to share with you a letter I recently wrote to my dad.
Before we get into this, however, I feel the need to preface this by saying that I understand that not all of you have father-figures who have been blessings in your lives. I know that so many of us have been deeply, deeply wounded— perhaps even purposely abused— by our earthly dads. And while I have certainly had some “daddy ouchies” over the years, I must confess that I’d venture to say that any of the ways he has ever hurt or failed or disappointed me over the past 36 1/2 years have been unintentional. He is a good, good man with an incredibly soft and generous heart. Though he may be imperfect, I can safely say that his love was always shown with the best of intentions. And any time he realized the error of his ways, he has always been humble and gracious enough to admit it and apologize for it.
I love him for that.
But I know that this is not the story for everyone else out there. Perhaps this is pessimistic of me, but based on all the stories I’ve heard over my lifetime, my guess is that only a minority of you can relate to my experience.
And if you are part of that supposed-majority, I can’t tell you how very sorry I am for that aspect of your journey. I am so sorry that your dads didn’t treat you the way you deserved to have been treated— with respect and kindness and pure, godly love. I can only imagine the holes that has left in your soul and in your growth process.
So please know that by letting you peek at this letter I’ve written I am only wanting to encourage you that, even if your story is vastly different from mine, the truth of the matter is that there is HOPE. There actually are good men out there who are genuinely doing their best and loving their families well. No, they aren’t perfect. Yes, they hurt their families, too, sometimes. But all in all they love well.
I had the honor and privilege of growing up with one of them as my earthly father.
I pray you are encouraged and blessed by him as well.
Thank you for caring about my family. Thank you for caring about my marriage and each of my children. Thank you for babysitting from time to time so that J and I can go out alone and reconnect— I can’t express to you how valuable those times are for us.
Thank you for watching my kids’ sports events— for showing them that they are important to you by simply being at swim practice or horse lessons or softball games or Christmas productions at school. It means so much to me and to them— we all feel your love in those moments.
Thank you for helping me build my chicken coop, and for fixing the towel rack in our bathroom, and for helping me install A/C units in my kids’ rooms, and for rearranging your schedule so that you can be at most of Abby’s swim meets and for picking up the girls whenever they get out of school early so that Ben can get a full nap in, and for coming to the girls’ Open House at school, and for being so supportive and attentive to me and my kids when we all went on vacation together this past spring.
Thank you for getting up and going to work every day when I was growing up so that you could provide for our family. Thank you for taking to heart all you learned at the Promise Keepers conference back in the 90’s. Thank you for all the self-help books you’ve read over the years in search of trying to be “the best you” you can be. Thank you for spending time with God on a regular basis so that you can get to know the Creator of the Universe and, hopefully, become more like Him over time.
Thank you for flying out to visit us when J and I first moved out-of-state in our early days of marriage. Thank you for watering my garden and feeding our chickens and bunnies while we were out of town last week. Thank you for always being able to look on the funny side of things— how could anyone not appreciate your corny jokes and your endless puns?
Thank you for being approachable and willing to listen to others, even if you disagree. You have always been such an easy-to-talk-to person, Dad. I love that, at any time day or night, I can introduce anyone to you and that person would walk away feeling like they matter. Thank you for going on walks with me from time to time— I love the talks we have when we walk on the path near your house.
Thank you for always being physically active— you have shown me what lifestyle fitness really means. And thank you for all the joy you exude, all the grace you show, and all the generosity you display to me and my family. Day after day, year after year.
You are such a gift to me, Dad. I hope you know it deep down in your soul.
I love you so much.
Thank you again for everything. I can never thank you enough for the role you play in my life. 🙂
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What about you?
What are some things your dad (or father figure) did well? In what ways do you find yourself (maybe even unintentionally) mimicking him?
Please feel free to share your thoughts or experiences in the comment section below.
- Thank You, Mom
- Jennie Allen’s recent post: How to Not Miss the Perfect Love of Imperfect Dads