I scroll through my news feed on Facebook and see a multitude of people giving thanks for the dads in their lives. I smile wistfully and am happy for those who have that privilege.
My dad died when I was 12 years old.
Before then, my parents were divorced, and my dad was an alcoholic. It’s been a long time since I uttered the words, “I love you, Dad.” I have just a precious few memories with which to remember him by. I remember the time he took me and my little sister to the store to pick out new dolls as a Christmas gift. I remember he taught me how to play Cribbage. I remember a time in the kitchen when he made Monster cookies. I remember a Christmas Eve midnight mass where I fell asleep on my daddy’s lap, secure against his chest.
I don’t often think about my dad on Father’s Day. Not because he isn’t loved, but because when I think of my father, I most often think of the One who loves me unconditionally, who is perfect in all His ways. While my earthly dad loved me, my heavenly Father is the one who taught me about forgiveness, faithfulness, and truth.
A father is important, more important than our estrogen dominant culture would admit.
My dad shaped my life, for better or worse, but it is God who has sustained it. It is God who has really shown me what it means to have a father I can count on, a father who never disappoints and who is always there. God is the one I turn to when my heart hurts, when I am filled with joy, and when I seek answers for the things in my life that don’t make sense.
Some fathers are amazing, and my husband is an incredible dad. I am blessed. But they, like us, are not perfect. We fail, we get it wrong, and we hurt our kids at times. And we forget. We forget that we are made in the image of God. How often do we reflect Him? How often do we neglect to be like Him?
What a relief it is to know that all it takes is looking in the mirror of His word to see what a good, good father God is.
Father’s Day is meant to honor the fathers in our lives, to recognize their profound impact on us, and to tell them we love them. Today, I want to say I love you, LORD.