Dad Lessons,

A few years ago, a character in one of our favorite sitcoms was bemoaning the fact that the celebration of Father’s Day had been denigrated to one of the least important holidays of the year. Despite his best efforts, his perfect celebration of himself and his role in the family had gone wildly awry and he was left questioning the concept of fatherhood.

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate all of the men who have stepped up to make an impact on the lives of others, whether they be biological fathers, grandfathers, uncles, stepfathers, adopted fathers, teachers, mentors, brothers…and the list goes on and on. In this month’s edition of Good Housekeeping, the magazine’s team members were asked to share some reflections on their dads. Specifically, they were asked these three questions:

How am I most like my dad?

What is a favorite memory of my dad?

What have I learned from my dad?

I enjoyed reading through the responses of many of GH’s team members. It reminded me of the powerful bond that exists between parents and children–whether they be biologically related or not. So, I thought we could have an interactive celebration of Father’s Day right here. I’m going to share my answers to these three questions below, along with a picture of me and my dad. But I also want to hear from you. I’d love for you to send me your responses to these questions, too…along with a picture of you and your dad/stepdad/grandpa/uncle/brother/teacher/mentor or any other father-type figure who’s made an impact in your life. I will publish each response I get right here the week of Father’s Day. Just send me your responses and your pic in a private message on FB. You can leave your full name, first name, or even just initial. You can also click the email link on this webpage to send your response and pic. Please have all responses to me by Saturday, June 12 to ensure publication. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the ways you’ve been inspired by someone special in your life!

How am I most like my Dad?

I have my dad’s love of learning, for sure. I like digging in and getting the full why and how of any situation. I especially love history, which came from being raised by a history teacher. We did something educational on every family vacation…usually it involved touring a Civil War battlefield. I also have my Dad’s quirky and silly sense of humor. I love to laugh, and don’t take too much too seriously, which sometimes come across as irreverent.

What is a favorite memory of my dad?

This is so hard! I had the great fortune of having a wonderful dad, so there are lots of fun memories. Here’s one that encapsulates the entirety of who he was. When our oldest was about 2, Dad was “babysitting”. Our son wanted something or started climbing on something, and my dad told him very sternly, “No!” Our son immediately burst into tears, and my dad quickly followed suit. Before I knew it, the two were wiping their eyes and sharing a box of cookies. Dad never told another grandchild “No!” again.

What have I learned from my Dad?

Laugh at everything, especially yourself. Work hard, but play harder. Stay in love with God. Serve others. Never stop learning.

Before I close, I know that there are many people out there who did not have fathers who emulated God’s love for them. There are father’s who are extremely broken inside. Fathers who suffer addiction. Fathers who are emotionally closed off. Fathers who demand too much. Fathers who demand too little. Fathers who lash out in anger. Fathers who abuse their children. That’s why it’s important that we view Father’s Day as a time to also remember and celebrate the fact that we have a heavenly Father who loves us, as well. He sacrificed himself so that we might be reunited with him, and he longs to give us all of his good and perfect gifts. Where earthy father’s fall short, our heavenly Father is always there. His eyes scan the horizon for his children, much like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son. And he waits for us, with arms wide open.

Blessings and Peace,