Having a dad still holds an incredible part in each of our lives. I understand that nowadays, there are many who may not have had the experience of having a father present in their lives, but there are those who become like a dad, when your dad was or was not there. These are the ones I believe need to be admired and sincerely appreciated.
I see a father as one who protects and shields, defends, inquires, discerns, provides, is present and desires to be a part of your life. He will recognize when you need to be held and will bring encouragement to you when you have been disappointed. Truth is there are many not being raised to be this kind of father. There are many who are not being present and setting boundaries. There are not enough right there alongside Mom to say what is right and help set the rules.
I am thankful for my father being present while I was growing up. I found him to be rather strict and nowadays I believe many would think of him as old fashioned and militant. Some could consider his ways overbearing and even controlling. Although, I may not have appreciated all of his ways, I can now look back and say how thankful I am that he set boundaries for the family. Once God got a hold of our entire family, I began to see my father change. His heart tenderized and he even apologized for some of his ways.
As a young person, I asked God to come into my life and I wanted to learn what it meant to follow Him completely. Through this experience, I saw that where my earthly father failed me, my Heavenly Father did not. I saw how much God completely loved me even when I may not have felt loved by others. I remember the first pastor I met who spoke to me about God’s love and complete acceptance of me. There was this sense of love and embrace that I truly cannot put into words.
I also have very fond memories of someone I have a called a spiritual father to me who walked me through everyday life and prepared me for marriage and having a family. He taught my husband and I so much and spoke into our lives so much that I believe has lead us to where we are today and even to the parents we have become. We admired him and his wife and the heart he had for God and for others.
Today, I see that being a father is more than just words. It takes actions, honesty, integrity and purpose. Whether you are a natural father, a stepfather, a spiritual father, mentor, coach or are impacting someone else by being in their life; it’s important that you recognize that you are there for a reason. Each life is vital and you may be the very one God would like to use to leave a legacy. It could be what causes a change in one’s life through a word, an action, or just being present. Pay attention to how you are influencing those immediately around you.