Today is set aside to honor the men in our lives who have fathered us. Some folks may have never known their biological dads or maybe they knew them but the relationship was never one that caused you to want to celebrate, but almost everyone has had other men in their lives who stepped in and filled that place, at least in a small part. Maybe it was that coach or youth pastor, maybe it was an uncle or neighbor. It might not have happened til you married and gained a father-in-law. Or maybe, just maybe, the only good example of father figure you've had in your life is God the Father. And for that, I am very sorry. I can't even imagine how tough that must be. I don't say this lightly when I say that I will be praying for you today that you will let the Father of Heaven and Earth fill those empty places and I also pray that He will bring strong, loving, honorable men into your life who will help heal up some of those hurts and give you what we were all created to need.
I do want to take the time, though, to honor those men who are the fathers in my life. There are men out there who are filling those father roles. They don't do it perfectly, after all, we mothers don't do our role perfectly either. Only God the Father is the perfect parent, but I am still grateful that even in their imperfections, they love me, they love my kids, they love those around who that look to them to be their physical father (and grandfathers) as well as spiritual fathers in their lives.
So to my dad, I say HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I love you and thank you for all you have given me in this life. You always believed in me and set no limits on what God could do in my life.
To my husband's dad, I say HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I know you didn't get to raise my husband for many years, but once the Lord brought you two back together, you made up for the years the locust ate. You have been a friend, a confidant, a spiritual leader, an example of faithfulness and honor.
To all the men who have been used by God to teach me something about His heart and what my life as a daughter of the King should look like, I thank you and say HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I could spend an hour listing you each by name but you know who you are. The missionaries, church leaders, ministry friends, pastors, family friends. You have made a difference in my life and in the lives of so many.
And to my husband, the father of my seven amazing children. I love you fiercely. I know that the past twenty years of parenting have not always been laughter and Hallmark card moments. I know that there have been lots of dirty diapers, rolling of eyes, and teenage drama, but through it all, you have stayed faithful and true. You have pitched in and done what's needed doing even when you've not wanted to. You've driven that car home when you knew that chaos and crying was waiting for you. You've endured our lazyness (and I do mean our), our unteachable attitudes, our cluelessness. You have striven to be a reflection of God's grace-filled love, and you've succeeded. Our kids as they grow into adulthood are proof of that. Thank you.
HAPPY FATHERS' DAY, Y'ALL! May your day be filled with many, many blessings and the assurance that there is a Father who loves you and is there for you always, even if you're a grown-up father yourself.