As we approach Father’s Day, I am reminded of the special honor it is to be a father.
I am the father of three daughters – Allie, Audrie, and Abigale – who I affectionately call my “A” team. They mean the world to me. And because I love them so much, I made it a goal to understand the importance of my role as their father.
I remember reading Meg Meeker’s amazing book, “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters,” and feeling a tremendous sense of responsibility when I read “fathers more than anyone else set the course for a daughter’s life.”
Wow! No pressure – sarcasm intended. After the initial shock of reading this passage another emotion set in, devastation.
How in the world was I going live up to the challenges of raising my daughters?
Especially, in light of the demands of being a Soldier. The time spent away from home can be excessive, whether it is at the office, in the field, or on the other side of the world.
How can I accomplish such an overwhelming task? How could I protect them effectively, teach them life lessons, and be their hero? How can I demonstrate the love that I feel for them so deeply in a tangible way?
After bridling my thoughts with a moment of pause, I remembered that I am not alone in this.
I serve an all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present God. He is not bound by geographical location, by fear or apprehensions, or even by time itself. His love is unconditional, his mercy is beyond understanding, and he is the perfect model of a father in the truest sense.
I have long professed to be a man of faith, I simply needed to put my faith in action. I needed to let God lead me in one of life’s greatest endeavors, fatherhood.
The most significant gift I could offer my children is a hope that surpassed all of my inefficiencies, all of my imperfections, all of my limitations. I knew, at the earliest age possible, I needed to introduce my girls to their heavenly father. This is done through prayer and leading by example, showing them how to rely on the Lord even when circumstances or people make life difficult. He is always ready to meet their needs.
Finally, I take great comfort in knowing that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [them] us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
The reality is no earthly father is perfect. In fact, for some, the idea of fatherhood may conjure up images, emotions, or thoughts of disappointment, rejection or fear. This is sadly unfortunate. I would suggest not looking to our own experiences as the definitive source for understanding true paternal love. Only God’s love can offer that. Fatherhood is truly a sacred responsibility and trust. And if we want to succeed, we do not need to put our trust in anything other than the father of all creation.