My parents divorced when I was very young.
As a result, I didn’t have a father in the home while I was growing up.
But I’m writing this post to honor fathers because even though I did not have an example of one in my mom’s household, I have seen the result of what a loving relationship with one can mean to a child.
I’m also writing this with joy because if you are missing your dad for whatever reason-by death or absence-if you open your eyes and your heart, you will find men who are an example of what it means to have a father in your life.
My mom had an older cousin who taught me how to laugh at life. He was eccentric and a bit strange. But his laugh-I still remember that and his smile, even though he has been gone for some years now.
I’ll never forget the day I got into serious trouble with mom. One of my (much) older brothers sat down with me and explained why mom was upset, then took me to the pet store and bought me a goldfish.
We had an older neighbor who was a well-traveled college professor. He spoke to me about his travels and gave me a sense of curiosity about the world.
I used to be sad that I didn’t have a “daddy” to call my own. But the Heavenly Father filled in the gaps, you see. Always as Himself. But many times, with good, earthly men who have His heart.
Sometimes, it’s a close relative or friend. Men who are anointed to come alongside and be examples of what a nurturing and caring man looks like. They speak with authority and love, and sometimes, they don’t speak at all.
They just listen.
I used to wonder what characteristic I had of my father’s, because all of my quirks seemed to be straight from mom. Positive and negative. I looked everywhere for my father in my reflection.
But as I write this, I realize that where my mom had a lot of hard edges, I’m more- squishy.
So I think my dad was probably squishy. Tender-hearted. Loving. And he had to be prone to laughing like I am. Usually when it’s the most inappropriate.
Even though I did not know him as well as I would have liked, I still feel blessed to be given a portion of him. That sparkle in my eye that hints of a secret. I think that’s him too.
So if your father is in your life today, or you have a man in your life that’s standing in the gap, give him a big squishy hug.