Today the world turns its attention onto fathers. Any man can physically father a child but it takes courage to be present and raise that child. Today we celebrate the men who have taken up the responsibility to be a present father in a child’s life – whether they are biologically yours or not, to the single parents who are making it work – today we celebrate you.
To all dads out there, perfection isn’t the point. Love is. As much as correction and instruction are a part of the process it isn’t only about the “do’s” or “do nots”. It is about keeping your word. It is about that hug or encouraging word. It is about sitting down with us in the down moments and just being there. It is about celebrating the victories, no matter how small or insignificant they seem. It is about living a life which is an example of who you want us to be. It is about saying sorry when you’re wrong and showing us how to do it better. It is spending time with us, those 5 minutes of your undivided attention means more that any gift. You see, no matter a child’s age, your love is the ‘approval stamp’ in their life. No gift will ever make up for lost time or absenteeism. Maybe you didn’t grow up with this example, but it’s worth the effort. I have seen many children’s lives – both positively and negatively impacted by the presence of an actively involved parent or lack there of.
I have had the privilege of having my dad actively involved in my life – from birth right up to this point. In fact I am blessed to come from a home where both my parents are present and involved. But today I want to share about my dad.
My dad is awesome and I was pretty heart-broken upon finding out that I coulnd’t marry him (I was about 5 or 6 years old). My dad is a pastor, mentor and founder of many wonderful life changing things and has an impact in many lives but most importantly he is a dad. He has one beautiful wife and four amazing kids (I’m biased on both counts).
Here are a fews things about him:
- My earliest memories of my dad are on a building site. I must have been about 2 years old. This building site is now the church and school’s main auditorium. I remember my mom taking me to see my dad. My dad used to let me get in the trenches with him and at that time a 2m deep trench seemed like a hole to the middle of the earth. He was there day in and day out buidling the church. This is the man I know – hard working and always willing to get involved to make it happen. Throughout the years that I was at home, my dad has always been very hands on and right up there working on all our projects and sometimes harder than the young men working with him.
- My dad loves to read. He has hundreds of books, both hard copies and electronic copies. He has a shelf or two dedicated to all his Bibles. I get my love of reading from him. He is always reading and growing his knowledge of things both on secular and spiritual issues. My dad has a passion for empowering young people with knowledge and even at this stage in his life he is teaching subjects in the school.
- My dad loves Jesus, His Word and prayer. I remember many mornings where the sound of him praying would be what I woke up to. I loved to crawl behind the couch in the lounge and listen to him pray. Eventually I got caught and so he would let me sit or lie on his lap while the early morning prayer meetings would happen in our house. My dad writes out Proverbs and other scriptures regularly and this is part of his method in studying the Bible. He is my inspiration when it comes to growing spiritually.
- One of the fondest memories I have is of the many times my dad and I would collect sea shells as we walked on the beach early in the mornings while on holiday. It became our special time.
- My dad prayed me through many tough times. I remeber there was a stage where I had major panic attacks and nightmares. My dad would walk up and down the passsage and pray and when my mom had gotten tired, he would let her go sleep. He would then sit on the edge of my bed or on the floor with me and pray until I was sleeping peacefully. Once I remember being rushed to the ER with spasms and excruciating abdominal pains. I saw the look in my dad’s eyes and knew I was in trouble because for a brief moment – I saw fear in his them. That moment passed so quickly as my dad loaded me in the car and prayed (in such a calm, yet authorative manner) that by the time the doctor came, I had fallen asleep peacefully.
- I hate being the center of attention. Out of all my siblings, I am the least outgoing in large groups of people. On my wedding day, I knew this would be just a slight challenge as one of the things I would be doing was walking down the aisle (and of course EVERYONE would be looking at me). As we got ready to walk down the aisle, I started to panic just a little bit. About half way down the aisle, I asked my dad to stop. My legs had become so shaky, I was struggling to take steps. My dad calmly started to pray. He prayed me down the aisle. It was such a special moment. It pretty much sums up my dad to me. He is a pillar in my life.
I am so proud to have a dad like I do – a true example of a Godly man. There are many sacrifices that he has made so that my siblings and I (along with all the other lives he has touched) can be where we are today. It was a privildge to serve him in both the school and in ministry before I got married and moved. I love him so much and he will always be a hero in my eyes.
Happy Father’s Day to my hero!
If your dad or the person who has fathered you is alive, I hope you thanked them today for being there!
Have a wonderful Sunday and may this new week be filled with many great successes.
From my heart to yours