Monday, June 9, 2014

Father's Day without a Dad

  • Rose is the official flower for Father's Day. Wearing a red rose signifies a living father, while white one represents deceased father (source).
This is my second father's day without my dad. Perhaps you've had many more without yours.  Hallmark uses the day to conjure up surplus sales and many do little more than say,"thanks, Dad," and bar-b-que a brat for him.  But when your dad isn't around, you think more about who he was, what he meant, and how he changed the course of your future. 

No dad is ideal. As you've heard, there's only One perfect parent and you can' t see Him. So, no lauding the praises over something that wasn't reality, but still, I could go on and on about all the positive ways my dad impacted my life. He let God pack the bag, but he encouraged what was in there, never making us feel inferior.  Dad was awash in humility, sometimes I wished he had a little more confidence and would share some of his deep thoughts.  "Okay, Dad, I get it," weren't words that came out of my mouth. Instead, I thought, "Wow, I wish he'd say a little more. I need some more of that wisdom."  

According to a 2005 survey commissioned by TiVo, here are the top five TV dads of all time: 1. Cliff Huxtable (The Cosby Show); 2. Sheriff Andy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show); 3. Pa Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie); 4. Howard Cunningham (Happy Days); 5. Ward Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver).
My dad was a little bit of all of these: he loved his wife passionately; he was laid-back and great with people, and involved in the lives of his kids. He was wise, had a practical sense of humor, and didn't back down from hard work. He knew how to provide and love.

Selfishly, my life would be far better if he was here, but how many kids don't get a dad like mine for even three years, let alone thirty? Some people will never know the security of having a dad who protects, understands, guides, disciplines, and loves.
  • 43% of US children live without their father [US Department of Census]
                    71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. 
75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes.  

These statistics should make us stagger back. Dads aren't these superfluous, idiotic beings that fill a recliner at night.  They carry a unique and unmatched role in the lives of their children.  It's a job not to be taken lightly.

Watching my husband play with the kids brings waves of gratitude. His job wears him out--emotionally and physically. Because he gives 110% to provide, he often lacks energy to play. But his intentional acts of  involvement communicate value to our kids (we mean something to Dad, he wants to spend time with me, he loves me).

Perhaps you didn't have a father like that...or still don't.  Some would say, "nothing can take his place," and, in a sense, they would be right.  No one on this earth can take the place of a loving father.  But beyond here, there certainly is One who can love you like you need.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  — Matthew 7:9-11 
 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  –1 John 3:1

He understands you perfectly, hears your heart, knows your pain, sees your sin, and
LOVES you completely.
He teaches,
extends mercy,
and cherishes you.

He is the perfect Father.

So, this Father's Day, if you've lost your father, or never really had one to begin with, remember that you are never Fatherless.  The One who made you waits to hold you close.  Draw near and let Him lavish you with His love.
James 4:18, "Come near to God and he will come near to you."

1 comment:

  1. Touching and thoughtful Kristin! I appreciated your words today. Love you!