12 06 2013

There is no denying that one of the gifts that I have held nearer and dearer to my heart than almost everything else is being a Daddy! My kids Rudy and his wife Lindsey, Leah, Abbie and Joel and my two grandsons Jude and Gideon mean more to me than all the material riches that anyone could ever throw my way! I cherish my children! Being called a Father and now Pop-Pop are two of the names that I have never minded answering to! Having a front row seat to observing and participating in the journey of my offspring is what I hope will be my lasting legacy. I love them and in loving them truly and fully, I have learned life lessons that I would never have discovered in any other way! Surely- these instructions would not have connected if they were only available to me via a book! Life has been a book of all that I stand for and I have prayed to not waste too many days when I know I could have contributed so much more!

Let’s just say it- when you choose to love in such a sacrificial and wholly committed way- you become vulnerable to getting hurt! My sons and daughters are not just action figures that I can control and pose in any way that I deem best. I was admonished by the Lord to train up a child in the way that they should go and not molded by my agenda to chase after the destination that I desire them to be directed towards! They were given the same free will by God that we have all been endowed with. Free will is a tricky deal. It means that you can passionately love another and never receive an ounce of attention in return! You can give your best to only be slapped back. You can offer caring counsel that will not only be ignored but reviled! Your heart can operate like a beating pin cushion with big chunks of it being attacked not by your enemies- but via your own flesh and blood! There is no guarantee that any of the time you have invested will be redeemed in a satisfying result. But as a Daddy- you love on! You give on! You care on! You invest on! You hope on! You have faith that love will lead them home!

One of the most poignant and powerful stories that Jesus ever told was the parable of “The Prodigal Son.” Jesus compares the Father in the narrative to his own Heavenly Papa. The younger son despises the old man and the older son serves his parent faithfully but bitterly believing that he is not loved or appreciated. One leaves home to have his heart rescued. The other boy stays home and allows his heart to become hard. But never in the account are we informed that the Father stops loving his boys! He loves on as he waits for the younger to come home and he stays approachable to the other who is always around but never truly engaged. This is true agape! God’s love is not conditioned upon our behavior or none of us would ever be good enough. God’s love is also not limited to our receiving it or responding to it! The Father loves us no matter whatever! He does so because we are his own! We belong to him even if we might spend most of our days trying to change our name!

My children do bring me much joy- but they also at times pain me in places of the soul that nobody else even knows exist! I celebrate their victories and cry with them through their failures. I am there for them when they invite me into their inner corners and even when they don’t. My love for them is like no other. They are a part of me and nothing could ever change that! I long to be their booming voice of encouragement and the loudest positive utterance flying out of the cheering section devoted to them. I also pray to be a human safety shelter and their safest refuge. I want to tell them the truth bathed in love so that they never settle for being anything less than their absolute best presentation of themselves. I want to forever be a human Daddy that points to their desperate need for their Holy Abba! No matter what may or may not happen and even when I am ignored- my love for my children will be bold and courageous and available in ample supply.

We live in a day when culture has reduced us Dads to being nothing but ignorant buffoons on television sitcoms and absent when we should be present in the lives of young people. Society’s version of the “modern family” is a joke in the worst of way! I believe that now more than ever- children need positive adult male role models. Where are the men who can be trusted and valued and believed in to keep their word? Where are the men who won’t disappear and leave the brunt of the upbringing to the women? Where are the men who will take a stand and dive into the nurturing and the discipline and the mentoring of these boys and girls who God desires to grow up to be impacting sons and daughters of Heaven?

While Father’s Day will never garnish the attention or get the face time that “Mother’s Day” achieves- it shouldn’t matter a bit for we who have been blessed enough to have participated in the making of a baby! Daddies don’t let your babies grow up to be unloved! Don’t leave them or abandon them or chicken out on them in their time of need. Celebrate this special day by not looking for recognition but be alert to recognizing the fact that being a Father is a precious gift! You have children to love and invest your best into. To love another can hurt and wound and rip you to the core- but take notes from another Father who loved his children even when they were running away from him! Make this Father’s Day about loving your family with no strings attached! Who needs another tie when what we all need are ties that bind us to a Rock that will not move- when everything else is washed away? Stay strong! Stay true! Stay near! Happy Father’s Day!



One response

13 06 2013
Greg Carter

Thanks Rudy for all the love you have shared in this article. I have failed and failed again as a Daddy. But the best gift that I am impressing upon my children is the Daddy of all Daddies who like us Dads, will love them no matter what. Happy Daddy’s Day.


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