Jun 152015 6 Responses

The Dads I Know

The dads I know could never be on a modern sitcom. They aren’t idiots. They aren’t selfish. They aren’t clueless pawns who have been rescued by their smart, successful, common-sense wives.

Their wives are those things, but they aren’t with the dads I know out of pity or some momentary lapse of judgment. These smart women are with these men because they are smart women. They know what is important and they found men worthy of giving their life and love to. They are smart, so they demanded respect from any man they would spend their time with. They are successful so they refused to waste their time on boys who refused to grow up. They have common sense so they knew they found a good guy and then waited long enough to make sure he was good. (See: A Father’s Primary Role)

The dads I know love their wives. They aren’t perfect, but they are learning. They put their wives before work, hobbies, or nights with the boys. They are dedicated to making their marriage work. They are humble enough to seek help in whatever form it demands—calling a friend, going to a men’s group, or seeking counseling. They are committed in every positive aspect of the word.

The dads I know love their children. They are great fathers. They attend school functions, coach little league teams, and teach Sunday School classes. They aren’t afraid of showing emotion in front of their children—they hug, kiss, and high-five. Catch them at the right moment—the first dance, the kindergarten graduation, the baptism—and tears openly flow. They read bedtime stories, play dress-up, and actively engage their child.

The dads I know love their community. They are engaged and involved. They are giving their time when no one else is watching to support a non-profit, clean-up a park, or give to charity. They don’t have to do any of these things, but they choose to do them because they want to make their hometown a better place.

The world in which we live needs more of the dads I know. Too many kids are growing up without knowing their father or without being in the same home as their father. Some of these situations can’t be helped, but many can.

And it begins with one step—we boldly celebrate good dads. We don’t mock them, downplay them, belittle them, or demean them. We celebrate them. Applaud them. Encourage them. And hold them up as the model to which we want others to live. We call them by name, look them in the eye, and thank them. (See: One Thing We Must Teach Our Kids)

We tell the truth. Being a good husband and dad is far more important than any career success, fame, or fortune. We must stop pretending that being on a magazine cover is some great achievement. We must stop idolizing those who can throw a ball for a living or play a part for a career over the real heroes who throw a ball with the daughter after they get home from work or play a part in a living room play before bedtime.

There are a lot of people that I respect, but few rank higher on the list than some of the dads I know who every single day are trying to be noble men by loving their wives, their children, and their community.

Being a father is not the hardest job in the world, but it isn’t easy either. It demands everything a man has, confronts our deepest fears, plays on our greatest insecurities, and tempts us to run. But good men don’t run. They stay. They work. They learn. They figure out what it takes to be a good man, a good husband, and a good dad.

The dads I know are doing those things. You won’t see them on TV because it is far funnier to have an inept father-figure for the modern sitcom. You won’t see them on the big screen because it’s a better story line to have a man sleep with his secretary rather than his wife. You won’t see them on magazine covers because eligible bachelors sell more magazines than noble fathers. (See: What I Prayed the Night Ella Was Born)

But I see them. I work with them. I’m friends with them. I pastor many of them. And they have my respect.

If you’re lucky enough to know some of these dads, share this with them.


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