Today is the day we celebrate fathers.
It is the day we honor the men in our life who love unconditionally, who provide selflessly, and who step up and give all for the children they love.
I have been blessed with exceptional men in my life who have shown me what a real man is and how a real man acts. From my grandfathers, to my father-in-law, to the man who raised me, I have been blessed with the best.
I have learned from their examples, been bolstered by their encouragement, and watched as their values were manifested in the way they lived their lives.
Each of them showed what they value most by the daily choices they made, making clear that God and family come first.
I was raised by a great man which is why I sought a great man to be my eternal companion and the father to my children. I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t carry the burden of breaking an unhealthy or dysfunctional relationship cycle. Because of how my father loved my mother, I knew what I was suppose to expect from a relationship. I don’t take this for granted. I know this was a great blessing that so many are denied.
But I have also witnessed in my life the great power of a good man to be a “cycle breaker.” I see it in my own home. I see the power for change that can come when a good man loves a child to the degree that a child begins seeing themselves as loveable.
When it comes to good men, I have been blessed with the best. Today we celebrate our 23rd anniversary and Father’s Day. On the day we married I thought I couldn’t love him more than I did in that moment, but that love was nothing compared to how I feel today.
That love was sweet but untested. It lacked the depth that comes when you move beyond a feeling to a choice. Love grows deeper with each trial and test. Conviction, connection, and commitment come from those hard seasons of life when you choose to stay rather than run. Deep abiding love comes when you see your spouse making the right choice, even when it is a hard choice. It grows as you watch him say “yes” when others would say “no.” Each selfless sacrifice for the good of another added another layer of depth to the love I already felt.
And then he became a father, and my love grew 100 fold as I watched him love, care and provide for our children. I watched as he set aside his own dreams for the sake of his little family.I watched him man-up, go against the agenda of the world, and choose to do right.
I watched as he loved our children with all he had and watched as he gave them the world.
And then he gave even more when he opened his heart and home to our sons whose own biological fathers failed them. He took on a responsibility that wasn’t his because of who he is…
It isn’t easy being a “cycle breaker.” It requires a level of selfless love and unwavering commitment, but he not only took in children abandoned by the world, he made them his in every way. He provides, he forgives, he accepts, he gives, and gives some more so that his boys might know their worth. He loves them as they should have been loved since birth, even when the love, respect, and care he gives isn’t reciprocated. He knows that being a father isn’t about what you get back. Fatherly love isn’t a feeling…it is a choice, and he keeps showing up and loving his kids…
Which is one of the many reasons I love him!
I am so grateful for the gift of good men in my life. Their walking, talking, daily examples of a father’s love has helped me better understand my Heavenly Father’s love, as illustrated in the poignant video below:
Happy Father’s day, to all the good men in the world.
May we raise them.
May we respect them…
That they may they know their worth.