A Father’s Love

Today in church, the discussion was focused on daughters of God–the important role they play in our lives, and why we should honor them. The teacher set aside the last 10 minutes for every man in the room to pay tribute to the women in their lives. After hearing other men praise their wife, I kept wondering how I would respond to this question.

The more we sat and listened, the more rambunctious my 1-year-old boy became. His youthful eagerness to get out of his seat to play somehow also fit the dread and discomfort with which I was facing this question. Part of me wanted to just leave, but that didn’t seem like the proper thing to do. What would that teach my son? I got up, allowing him to focus his attention on another part of the room. After hearing other men praise their wives with such words as, “Because of her, I’m a better man”, and “She’s always there for me”, suddenly, it was my turn to speak. What was I going to say?

Reluctantly I opened my mouth. Without knowing what else to say, I just decided to be honest. “When I heard you say you were going to give everyone time to pay tribute to the women in their life, to be honest I was uncomfortable. I’m going through a divorce right now, so this topic is a little difficult for me. But I have a very supportive mother who taught me when I was little that God loves me no matter what. When I think of my kids and how I can be an effective role model in their lives, I remember that principle. I know that’s the most important truth I can ever teach them.”

I quickly quit talking, not wanting to make any more of a spectacle of myself than I felt I already was.

I am a man of no major significance in this world, but if there is anything of significance or lasting value I have contributed to the world, it is the two children I helped bring in to this world. They are my pride and joy, and the one thing in my life that is most dear to me. I strive to love them the way God loves them. This kind of love takes effort and work. These are a few of the small ways I’m learning to show this kind of love:

1) Love is wrestling with my kids when I’m tired and would rather take a nap.

2) Love is playing with dolls, dishes and pretending to go shopping.

3) Love is chasing my daughter so that she will get her pajamas on.

4) Love is the quiet moments spent reading a book together or watching an uplifting video online.

5) Love is sharing a sugary treat with my daughter late at night when I’m trying to avoid unhealthy things.

6) Love is goodnight hugs and kisses.

7) Love is playing with Play-doh and going to the park.

8) Love is enjoying 20 questions and constant questions of “why?”.

9) Love is listening to my 3-year-Olds sweet nothings.

10) Love is one-on-one time together.

11) Love is laughing together while playing duck-duck-goose.

12) Love is willingly giving my kids to their mother and respecting her when I disagree with her decisions.

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