In Defense of Dads

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With Father’s Day coming up I thought I’d encourage you to celebrate your kids’ dad.

Women and churches are really hard on dads. We wives,  for example, don’t respect our husbands’ parenting skills.

“What parenting skills? He’d leave the baby in a wet diaper all day if the five year old didn’t remind him to change it.”

“He’s too hard on the teenagers.”

“He’s terrible with money.”

“He works too much.”

And I hear the church leaders say, “Where are the men? They ought to be more present, more spiritual, stronger husbands.”

How often have you said “Amen!” to that? I have.

Then a few years ago as I sat alone in the church pew on Father’s Day, I walked out when criticizing fathers became the pulpit narrative on the day they were supposed to be celebrated. And even though my husband wasn’t there because he was working or traveling, I knew in my heart his absence was not some lapse in the eyes of God. God sees his heart of love for his family.

Yeah, I know there are deadbeat, neglectful, carnal dads. But there are tons of really incredible dads out there and you probably have one in your life right now. These dads aren’t perfect, but neither are you. Be determined not to harp on their faults; you don’t want them to hold your weaknesses against you, do you?  All men deserve time to grow into their role as dads. They deserve respect and credit for trying.

So here’s a list of things to celebrate about your kids’ dad. He may not do everything on this list, but any combination deserves a high five this Father’s Day.

  • He was a partner in giving life to those you love.
  • He tries to be an example to the children.
  • He tries to be present in the children’s lives.
  • He goes to work every day.
  • He comes home from work every day.
  • He shows interest in spiritual things.
  • He’s monogamous and is crazy about you.
  • He plays with the children and enjoys having fun.
  • He helps with homework, coaching, chauffeuring, cooking, or laundry.
  • He repairs broken stuff, lifts heavy stuff, kills snakes, mows the lawn, and takes care of the car.
  • He’s athletic and pursues healthy habits.
  • He loves his mother (yes, be grateful for this. Do you want your son to one day NOT love you?)
  • He is sincere, gentle, passionate, confident, courageous, loving, or humble.

OK. Now make your list and show some gratitude this weekend.

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