I stood in the aisle trying to find a card that matched my husband or my dad for Father’s Day. The cards either had a grill or a golf club. The one card I did pick up and read pitted the poor recipient as the butt of the joke. It said something like “The thing I like best about you is your taste in women.” Wow.
You really missed the mark, greeting card industry. There’s more to dads that what you are giving them credit. Yes, they like meat and sports, but I’m surrounded by dads. I have a husband, a dad, a granddaddy, cousins, a brother and countless friends that I get to watch being fathers. And I see more. I see more than a grill master or a sports junkie. I see more than a beer-guzzling, careless, uninvolved, unrelational, passive workhorse whose only role is ‘provider’. Let me tell you what I see:
I have seen his eyes gaze tenderly and anxiously at his newborn.
I have seen his knuckles white, clutching the steering wheel with all the weight of the new responsibility of driving this living being home from the hospital.
I have seen his hand steady the bike, cautiously letting go and sending him on his own way.
I have seen the approving nod and thumbs up from the bleachers, the only one for which the jagged-tooth grin begs.
I have seen his steel frame twisted in grief.
I have seen his misty eyes as she twirls at the recital.
I have seen his protective glance over his home, and his double checking the door is latched before bed.
I have seen his heart swell and overcome with compassion when his child is in pain.
I have seen him pierce right through to the core when he asks, and genuinely cares to know, “how’s your heart?”
I have seen him rock them to sleep, carry them up a mountain, change their diapers, read them Scripture, warm their bottles, toss them in the air, wipe their noses, calm their fears, apply their band-aids, stroke their hair, pray for their needs, scoop them away from danger, wrestle ’til they hurt and giggle ’til they cry.
I’ve seen men who accept the call to fatherhood, and live it out with patience, integrity, and purpose.
That’s what I’ve seen. And this isn’t new-age mumbo jumbo where men are all of the sudden jumping in and helping more with the kids. It’s no surprise that men are relational. In Genesis, God saw that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. And they were instructed to be involved from the beginning (Deut. 4:9, 6:7, 11:19), teaching their children and bringing them up in the way they should go. I think Paul especially knew the importance of a father in the life of his children: “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged” (Col. 3:21).
I’ve seen that. I’ve seen them put the courage in their children, bring them up as they should go, and teach them diligently as they walk along the road.
I am so eternally grateful for all I get to see. Dads, watching you father is a joy unspeakable. Thanks for all you are.