Let me tell you a little about my experience with Fathers.
1. My dad left the house when I was 4 years old. To be totally honest I do not know the full details behind why he left and what not. Over the years you hear of all different things from all different types of people. Drugs, Alcohol, Women, It just wasn't working, No more love, the excuses can go on forever. I don't blame him for leaving....I just wish he was around more. He worked hard to make sure he saw me as much as he could. He would drive 1 1/2 hours every other weekend to pick us up for the weekend and sometime come up and spend some Saturday's with us. The only thing that was hard was that he wasn't there. In order to be an effective dad, you need to be there. I don't care who you are, your effectiveness as a father isn't what it should be if your long distance.
2. My step-father showed up at 13. He started off trying to be pretty cool, coaching my basketball team in 8th grade, taking me fishing, hunting, etc. He had a temper problem that would flare up every now and again. His biggest downfall to being a dad was that he never showed affection. Now, affection doesn't mean hugs and kisses all day, it just means showing love. I don't ever think that I ever felt love from my step dad. He'd probably disagree.
3. My father-in-law has been real cool since the day I met him. He seemed like a guy that was very willing to take me in and mentor me right out the gate. I was a new Christian and I could tell that if I was gonna be dating his daughter, he was going to be discipleing me. He showed a lot of affection, sent me cards, e-mails, etc just to encourage me. It was a pretty neat relationship.
4 My grandfather on my dad's side is the freaking man. Born in the late 1920's he was raised on a farm. He was a workhorse. This man is a real man, full of integrity, leadership, knowledge. He can talk to you all day about projects around the house, sports, religion, politics, family. He is so well rounded. He came to faith in Christ at around 16 and grew up in the Methodist church. He always teases my Grandma because she is a Catholic Christian (Not many of those around anymore). Anyway, he is a great man.
I have learned a lot from my experiences with father figures. There are Pro's and Con's to each of them and each has played a vital role to who I have become as a father. I am trying to incorporate a little of my history into my parenting today. If you know anything about me, it is that I want to be a great daddy. People used to ask me in high school what I wanted to be and I would always respond "A Great Daddy". Today I do ministry with my kids, take Abby on dates, buy her flowers, play ball and wii with D, wrestle with Ella. I tuck them in everynight, pray with them, teach them, lead them, discipline them when needed, cry with them laugh with them, hug them, kiss them, show them that I love their mommy. Those are some of my most prized moments in life so far.
If you are a father who is reading this, let me encourage you. Your children are your most valuable, precious, little assets. They come before everything else except Jesus and your wife. I know you love your kids, but show them. I can never show my kids how much I love them, it is un-showable (Is that a word?), but try. Leave a legacy for them!!!! Be a dad that isn't a drunk, a cheat, a loser, a guy who's always at work, or who is ignoring them so he can do his own agenda. Don't be that dad who's angry all the time, not having fun with them, not kissing them, not telling them there value. You don't want to be that Daddy.
I will end with this since just wrote about worship a few blogs ago. "You become like that which you worship"....you worship work, you become a workaholic; you worship sex, you become a porn addict at best; you worship drugs, you become a druggie; you worship alcohol, you become an alcoholic; you worship church, you become a religious freak, you worship your kids, you become that annoying father; you worship sports, you become a sports nut who's killing your son's refs.
Here's the catch, but.....if you worship Jesus, you become like Christ, and in Christ you find the greatest father of all.
Who's your daddy?