Ode to Dad

#Ode to Dad
I have a strong belief that dads are crucial to the future success of a nation. One of the largest problems in the United States is that dads refuse to be dads, fathers, family leaders and strong influencers and are instead just part of the duo that create a life.

I have been blessed to have close relationships with the following men who fulfill the role of dad to the very best of their ability and take the responsibility quite seriously. I admire and respect these three men for that work ethic and the tireless energy they exhibit in leading their families.

The first dad I would like to write about is my own. My dad, since passed, was awesome. Part of that description may come as he was my dad but most comes from the fact that he was a stand-up guy, a straight shooter, responsible, present and godly. The combination of character traits made him a man who was able to lead his six sons to be the men they are today. My dad was a young father who had six boys by the time he was 27. He led his family in such a way as to garner both love and fear (healthy). As a child you never had to wonder how dad was going to treat a given situation and the only surprise was the amount of grace supplied in each individual instance. My dad is hard to describe and loved more that I can express. He did some odd things like when he took a day off work to go to high school with his boys. He sat in class, asked questions and participated as any student might. While it was a little odd, as his sons we still tell that story with pride as we never saw other dads do anything similar. My dad was involved. He would attend all school events from sports to plays to music performances. Even when we didn’t think he was paying attention his recollection of each event was almost total recall. He knew the importance of discipline. His favorite tactic was public discipline that he preached to communities, state and federal employees. Watching a brother being disciplined for improper performance was a huge deterrent to the same when we reached a similar age. My dad taught all the time. Gun safety, manners, respect, mechanics, math. You name it and my dad could find a teaching opportunity. His wisdom exceeded his age. My dad’s most important job, that he performed exceptionally well, was to introduce his boys to his savior, Jesus Christ. He believed with his whole heart and taught his boys the same. He did not command but led. His example led each of his boys to put their faith in Jesus Christ. I hold this to be his crowning glory as a father.

The next dad I want to describe is my father-in-law. I did not know him when I was a child but have been married to his daughter for 29 years so I know him fairly well. He is one of those “didn’t have to be” dads. He became a dad to my wife when she was 5 years old. He never shied from the responsibility and fulfilled the role incredibly well. He was also a great father to his other two daughters as well. He reminds me very much of my dad and the stories from my wife’s childhood matchup very similarly to mine. He demonstrated unconditional love while maintaining discipline and structure. All required to produce “good” children. He came to a saving faith in Jesus after becoming a dad but once he made that decision he made sure to lead his family in concert with the teachings of the Bible. I have the utmost respect for my father-in-law and am blessed to call him dad.

The third dad on my list is my son. He is, maybe obviously, the newest dad of the group. However, that is not to say that he is not proving to hold his own as a high-performance father. Beside the fact that he has produced our first grandchild, who I love immensely, I feel my evaluation to be fair and balanced. What a joy to see the father he has become and to observe the things he has learned from the other dads of this post and put into practice. He has the dad presence that makes his daughter pay attention when he speaks. I so enjoy seeing him in action as he makes his daughter behave and teaches boundaries. One of the greatest joys of my heart is his desire to teach his daughter about Jesus. The bedtime routine involves Bible reading and prayer. She must be holding his hands during the prayer time and claps once he says amen. So beautiful. I am as certain as I can be that when the time comes she will choose to make Jesus the savior of her life as her dad did when quite young.

All three of these men are tremendous examples of the good a father can produce. Their desire is to raise children who will become productive members of society and who follow Jesus whole-heartedly. I believe God has and will bless them for the work they put into their performance as dads.

Happy Father’s Day.

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