Monday, June 15, 2015

Father Shows Best

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to the man who set my life on the right path!

     Powerful. Influential. Heroic. Men, would you like to be like this? When you are a father or a father figure, you have the potential to be all these and more. When someone positions you as the primary male role model in their life, you are crucial to their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. You are a big deal. And when it comes to life, you truly do show them best.

While it is understood that being a dad to someone is a top-honor, what is often misunderstood is what should a man do once he is one? What does it look like to “show them best” if there isn’t a manual that comes with each young person? While there are thousands of stats and ideas on what can be done, there is one man that has lived fatherhood for one boy and one girl that is an example to all.

My brother and I were raised by a successful dad. Although he was an Eagle Scout, Marine, and businessman, his most valuable success was in our home. He was and is a father that has showed us best through his actions and words. His sixty-five plus years of life can answer some of the questions about being a dad for other men just simply by hearing how he lived as we were growing up.

  1. He understood imperfection. Dad knew we would make mistakes and need understanding. He listened well to us before he enforced discipline. With his patience, we felt heard and respected even though we knew discipline was needed and would come. Afterwards, he always, yes, always, chose to forgive us. In addition, dad was the first to admit his own shortcomings. Whether it was from his childhood memories, relationships with others, or something at work, he would talk with us so we could learn from him and, at times, offer our own forgiveness to him. Dad kept life real and knew we weren’t perfect and that was okay. Consequently, we did all we could to please him and make him proud because of our gratitude for his understanding.
  2. He loved unconditionally. The words, “I love you unconditionally” came from dad countless times. And he meant it. He loved no matter what we did or didn’t do. And as any parent would know that isn’t easy and also says a lot. We absolutely knew no matter what extra-curricular activities, friends, clothes, music, hairstyles, colleges, or jobs we chose, as long as it wasn’t harmful or disobedient, he supported us. His words were encouraging and positive when he spoke to us and when he spoke of us; often times even when he didn’t know we were listening. Because of his love, we trusted him, and loved him unconditionally in return.
  3. He provided, protected, and played. Dad did everything he knew to do to provide for us with life necessities and anything above and beyond. He worked hard but not for his own gain, it was to give his family his best.  And because he worked hard, he protected us from anything that would come against us to break up the family. He guarded his faithfulness to mom, his time with us, and entertainment choices or people that weren’t beneficial to our minds and hearts. Consequently, had the freedom to enjoy the provided, protected life and had a blast playing with dad on family nights, in the car, on vacations, and at extra-curricular activities. We loved being with him!

          4. He lived out his faith. One of the fondest memories form growing up is of my dad reading his Bible. He would sit comfortably in his fluffy chair while wearing his pin-stripped, button-down pajamas as he faithfully studied God's word. He wasn't doing it for show or because anyone asked him to, Dad simply loved Jesus with all His heart. As we started our day, he would play worship music though out the home as well. The songs instilled Godly words in our minds and hearts as we prepared for school. And church wasn't a burden to dad. He loved it. The deepest comfort I had as a child was dad holding me in his arms during church. Everything felt right to me. And afterwards, dad lived the truths of the Bible at home. He wasn't perfect but he was sincere. He did all he could to be a Godly man and this solidified my own trust in Jesus. 

While being a “father that shows best” may take effort, it comes with matchless rewards. Perhaps you have attempted your best but have fallen short, start fresh. Even if your child is older, you can choose to be successful starting today. You can be that powerful, influential, heroic man to whoever it is in your life that needs you as a dad.
*Article used as published in Paradise Lifestyle Magazine June 2014


1 comment:

  1. Casey is the most wonderful person I have ever known!