How To Be A Dad

Incase you didn’t know, this coming Sunday is Father’s Day!

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As I was thinking about what to write for this “Father’s Day Post” on my afternoon walk yesterday, I was listening to my Christian music station on Pandora.  It struck me that many of my favorite worship songs, prayers, and Scripture verses could all very easily be tweaked to describe my relationship with my own dad:

“You are good, you are good, when there’s nothing good in me”

“…the defender of the weak; you comfort those in need”

“My strength and my shield, in whom my heart trusts”

“I fear no evil, for you are with me”

These all describe dad to me.  Defender of the weak.  Comforter of the brokenhearted.  Full of mercy and compassion.  Self-sacrificing.  A [seemingly] endless strength and tireless in his efforts.  In a nutshell I have a hero of a dad.

The fact that I can say that throughout my life I have had the presence of a strong, loving, and always-dependable father makes me the member of an ever-shrinking minority.  I have a great dad.  Unfortunately, many people out there can’t say the same.  The sad fact is that for too many people, Father’s Day is sort of an empty day—a reminder of what is missing.

Of course as I’ve grown up I have realized that no human father is perfect, and even great dads make mistakes sometimes.  That’s why I’m thankful that, from the time I was a baby, my dad has always made it his aim to point me towards my true Father in heaven.  He has done this by introducing me to God and by teaching me how to pray, but more importantly he has done this through his example.  By seeking in everything to emulate the justice, mercy, and above all the love of God the Father, my dad has shown me what true fatherhood is.

Because of my dad, I know that true fatherhood looks something like this:

A true father loves his bride (as Christ loves the Church).  True fatherhood teaches right from wrong.  It practices unconditional love, but like the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son, a true father loves his children too much to consent to their persistence in wrongdoing.  The child of the true father knows he can run to his father after making a mistake, and trusts that his father will be a source of comfort and will help to set things right.  The true father is a source of joy, as well as a friend with whom his children can have a meaningful conversation.  

My prayer for all of you on this Father’s Day is that you may experience the true love of the true Father. Don’t forget to pray for all the dads out there.  They’ve got an incredibly important job to do.

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