Throughout the Bible, God uses a broad assortment of titles. Each name reveals a unique aspect of His character and help us better understand His true nature. My favorite name for God, and the one that resonates the most with me, is Abba, or “Father.” I know that many struggle to reconcile the image of a loving God with the example of fatherhood modeled to them by earthly fathers who were absent, uninvolved, or even abusive. However, I was blessed to grow up with a dad who beautifully demonstrated the compassionate nature of our Heavenly Father, and I am so thankful for the annual opportunity to recognize his role in my life.
I honestly could not have asked for a better dad. Growing up, he never missed an opportunity to tell me that he loved me, or to demonstrate that love in practical ways. He even coined a phrase—WWALY (We Will Always Love You)—that he still repeats to me often and that reminds me that nothing I could do or say will separate me from my parents’ love. My dad was highly involved in every aspect of my growing up years, attending every school event and intentionally designing special times for us to spend together. He made his family a priority, and we never doubted that for him, spending time together was of the utmost importance—and also his favorite pastime. Dad took me on countless Daddy/Daughter dates, created a number of special traditions for the two of us and for our family, and spent innumerable hours engaging me in conversations about everything from school to boys. He praised my accomplishments, encouraged my dreams, and helped me to stay focused on what was truly important.
Most importantly, my dad was a positive spiritual model in my life. Every book, movie, and circumstance served as spiritual learning opportunity. He even journaled through the entire Bible and had it published in book form as a high school graduation present for me! But my dad didn’t just talk about his faith, he lived it out in his daily interactions with our family and those around us. To this day, his life is a manifestation of his personal relationship with Christ, and his humility, kindness, and knack for making others feel special are attributes to which I aspire. He is more than just a wonderful father, he is an amazing man, and I feel blessed to have grown up with him as my dad.
This year I am also excited to be able to recognize Luke on his first Father’s Day as a daddy. Like my own dad, Luke is a nurturing and affectionate parent. He is fully committed to sharing ALL of our parental duties, and he has been incredibly supportive of me as I’ve (not-so-gracefully) navigated the challenging first months of motherhood. My heart melts as I watch him interact with our son: he is playful, patient, conscientious, and very clearly in love. I feel privileged to be raising our child with Luke by my side, and I am beyond grateful that, like me, Charlie will grow up with a beautiful earthly model of Our Father’s love.
So, to my two favorite fathers: happy Father’s Day! Thank you for all that you do, and all that you are. I love you both!