That's right. Father's Day is for real men. I am sure, in the beginning, the thought of the responsibility of parentage, frightens every man. However, it is the real men that become fathers. These are the men that look at parenting as not only their duty, but their joy. These are the men that are not afraid to get a little dirty- whether it be from a sick child or one covered in ice cream on summer vacation. These are the men that play kick ball in the back yard until it is almost too dark to see anymore. These are the men that watch Pokemon with their kids and understand the difference between a Fire Type and a Water Type. These are the men that understand that Ariel is the one with the red hair and the fins and that Jasmine is the one that rides on the magic carpet. These are the men that laugh harder at Spongebob than their four year old. Perhaps these real men may not always do diapers or perhaps they cringe at the thought of being vomited on- that's what Mommies are for. Real men are the guys that spend their moments with their kids making memories, exploring, and well being that guy that those kids look up to as their hero.
My dad is a Real Man. I never knew my biological father, and at this point never will. I can only hope and pray that somewhere along the way, he got his life together. But, the man that I will always know and love as my father has been there from the beginning, and he is a real man. For starters, before he married my mom, he called me his own daughter. He put his name on my birth certificate, knowing full well the responsibility he was taking on. That idea of becoming a father was more than a responsibility for him- it was more than a duty- it was the Will of God. My dad chose me as his own daughter and was there from the very beginning.
I do not know every detail that plays into why my father chose to be my father, but I do know this: he prayed about it and God answered him. Sometimes God speaks to different people in different ways. This time, God chose to speak to my dad in the form of a dream. I did not know about this dream until I was a teenager, and to this day, even as I near 30, it still gets to me. :)
In the dream I am just a newborn baby in my biological father's arms. My adoptive father is standing there, his arms empty. Jesus walks in and takes me out of the first man's arms and places me gently in my dad's arms. This is how he knew what he was doing was the right thing. Pretty amazing, huh? Yeah, it gets me every time.
I grew up in a semi-normal (normal is pretty subjective, isn't it?) family. I had two parents that love me, and lots of siblings that I shared everything with. Most of the time we shared nicely. Most of the time. There were those times our parents would tell us that one day we would appreciate one another or that one day my brothers would be bigger than me and that I would then regret sitting on their heads.... And, that day came, and yes, I did regret some things. My dad raised us to love each other, value our family, and most of all Love God, because he first loved us.
There was a verse that seemed quite poignant to me and gave me some perspective and comfort over the years. Ephesians 1:5 (NLT) "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Not only did this remind me of what my dad had done, I had another Father who had also chosen me and adopted me- God. And being chosen by someone is pretty darn special, especially when I am so unique that sometimes even my own family looks at me and wonders. The characteristics that God shows by loving us no matter who we are, are reflected in my own earthly father's character. Father's Day is definitely for him.
I have countless childhood memories of fishing trips, camp outs, bonfires, kickball, music filled evenings, and fighting over who got to read from the current novel aloud. And then, one day I grew up. I married Seth and it wasn't long before we had a family of our own. I praise God every day that I married a real man. He laughs with the kids, plays with them, and is creating a whole new generation of memories with them.
So this Father's Day, while I don't get to spend any time with my Dad as we live in different states, I thank God for putting him in my life from the very beginning so that I could grow up and know what family means and what Faith in God is. And while I don't get to spend much time with my husband, I thank God for bringing us together and for the sacrifices that Seth makes for his family by working, even when today is supposed to be a celebration.
Tomorrow our family is heading up to the mountains for our very first camping trip as a family, to celebrate summertime and Father's day, and to create memories for our kids. We must treasure these moments with them, as time does not stand still, and without them, we wouldn't be parents.
Happy Father's Day to all you Real Men out there that understand that its these moments with your children that are what matters. God bless you all.
And Happy Father's Day to you God. Thank you for everything. I love you.