A few months ago, my friend Ellie and I got together to talk over tea. Whenever we set aside time to have a planned conversation, we can cover bazillions of topics and spend up to four hours simply talking. On this particular afternoon, one of the topics was our fathers. We were sharing about how grateful we are for the fathers God blessed us with – their love, respect, training, humor, and discipline. As we were talking, a woman interrupted us. She wanted to tell us how special it was to hear two young ladies praising their fathers. And she wanted to encourage us to speak those words to our dads. I tell my dad I love him, but I don’t often speak aloud my thankfulness. So today, on Father’s Day, I want to take the opportunity to formally honor my father.
Daddy, you are my role model. I want to be like you in the way that I speak, talk, listen, and live. You have set an example as a godly man and that example has set a precedent for what I look for in a future husband. The way that you love and respect my mother shows me how a man should treat his wife, or any woman for that matter. The way that you train and disciple your children follows after the teaching in Proverbs. I hope to do as well in raising my own children someday. (As much as I say I won’t have children, you’ll probably have grandchildren to spoil eventually.) Your sense of humor is also something that I admire. You don’t have to take yourself – or anyone else – seriously, but you know when to draw the line. And of course, your dance skills are impeccable. I love how you are always willing to dance, and no matter what Mom says, I think you’re a pretty swell dancer. Thank you for pulling me out onto the dance floor, even when I was in middle school and embarrassed, because I need to take myself less seriously.
Your unconditional love and selflessness is a picture of Jesus. You always look to the interests of others before yourself. Many times you have sacrificed comfort and time for me. I can’t recall a time that I’ve ever heard you complain. You look for the positive in a situation and you are the rock on which I lean in difficulty. You are quick to forgive and move on. While it is one of the most painful things to disappoint you, you have never remained angry or made me feel unworthy. I have assurance that you will love me no matter what, not only from your words but also from your actions. That is Jesus’s love in motion.
Thank you for always challenging me to never conform. You have engrained within me a love and acceptance for uniqueness in life. I know that the bandwagon fallacy will never work with you. I have learned that saying, “everybody’s doing it…” is the quickest way to end a discussion. And while it has frustrated me at times, I am truly thankful for your resolve to do life differently. My life has been more full because we chose not to do things like everybody else.
In addition, you have respected me as an “adult” since the age of twelve. Although that term caused me to put undue pressure on myself, your meaning behind it pushed me to maturity. Even in the little things, such as the use of “um,” “whatever,” “like,” and “basically,” you have cultivated excellence. Thank you for pushing me to be more articulate, effective, and excellent in my speaking and writing. I can rely on you for an honest critique accompanied by encouragement. You have always called me to something greater than myself, and for that I am thankful.
These are only a few of the many ways that I look up to you. I am extremely grateful for your presence in my life. As every child writes on their Father’s Day cards, I would not want any other Dad but you. (And that’s the truth.) Thank you for inspiring me to chase after my dreams and for challenging me to always do my best, yet always loving me despite my flaws. I am so appreciative that you have never asked me to be anyone other than myself. I am the woman I am today because of your respect and support. I love you, Dad.