Monday, June 22, 2015

My Dad

Well, it was Father's Day yesterday.  I meant to have this post done before the actual holiday, but I'm late, as usual.  I'll just have to fall back on the old saying, "Better late than never," and press on...

This post is going to be divided into two sections.  The first section being a chance for me to rant a bit on the way dads are constantly being portrayed in our modern times.  And the second being a chance for me to tell you that I have one of the absolute best dads in the whole wide world!  (No. I'm not the least bit biased.)  Let us begin.

Section One:
Rant in Progress...

It seems to me that the pervading opinion about dads these days is that they're a weak and helpless lot.  They're always failing their kids and coming up short in everything.  Have you ever noticed how many movies there are containing pointed lessons to dads on how they should behave?  The dad is always the one whose doing things wrong.  He's always the one with the problem.  I know there are a lot of dads out there who are not caring for their families like they should, but honestly there are plenty of moms in that boat, as well.  And what I don't understand is why someone can't make a movie about a dad whose doing things the right way.  That would influence people just as much as a dad whose doing everything wrong but has a miraculous change at the end of the film.  (That's my opinion anyway.)

What really ticks me off is how we dumb down fatherhood even in the church.  This past Mother's Day is a good example.  At our Sunday service they showed a "humorous" video (I wasn't laughing) about a couple moms who go away for the weekend leaving their husbands to look after the children.  (Horrors! Fathers don't know how to look after children!!!!)  The husbands see them off, saying "Go and have fun, we've got this."  But as soon as the car disappears out the driveway they look at each other in the most helpless manner and wonder what in the world they got themselves into.  They're hopeless.  They go bumbling about the house as if the kids and all the duties pertaining to them are completely new and unheard of.  And then of course the children are simply horrible.  As soon as mother is out of the house they turn into little monsters, and the fathers are so weak and incapable that the children trample all over them!  In fact, the dads are so clueless that they end up looking online for information on how to care for their own children!  Seriously?

That movie made us so mad.  We came home from church that day and fairly butchered it with our sarcastic and affronted comments.  Why, oh why, must we downplay fatherhood and make it look like a joke in order to honor motherhood?  It doesn't make sense!  (Actually, my thirteen-year-old brother pointed out to me later that that video really wasn't a good tribute to motherhood either.  If the kids act so horrible the minute mom walks out the door, she can't be doing a  very good job of training them while she's there.  I quite agree.) 

Anyway, a mom's job is a huge deal, it really is, but the dad is just as influential in his kids lives as the mom is.  (And he certainly has brains enough to know what his kids need; and the fortitude to do the dirty jobs in order to accomplish what is best for them.)  It's not just "dad works, mom raises the kids."  No way!  Dads are constantly speaking into their children's lives and seeking wisdom for how to raise them properly.  They invest in their children just as much as moms do.  And it annoys me that dads in movies are constantly being portrayed as the failures.  Like I told my brother in an e-mail, "I am now going to make it my lifelong ambition to make best selling movies all about very, VERY, VERY good, and responsible, fathers!"  (Okay, so that was sort of a joke, but, really, I do feel like that sometimes.)

Thank you for allowing me to let off some steam.  I assure you, I am now putting away my soap box for the time being. 

...Moving on to section two. 

Section Two:
My Dad. 

Unlike my Mother's Day post, I can't think of many dads in movies who could properly represent my father.  He's just so different.  I do often think of Mr. Bennett when I think of my dad, but that's probably because Daddy loves to quote him.  ("No lace, Mrs. Bennett!  I beg you!"  "And yet, I am unmoved.")  But he's not very much like Mr. Bennett, really. 

(Except, he does love to read.  And he's quiet and likes to have time alone.  And he's got that little twinkle in his Mr. Bennett.)

My dad was a pastor for the first ten years of my life.  He has a gift for preaching and always has something insightful and inspiring to say.  I can sit and listen to him for hours.  His hunger and passion for God's word is contagious. 

My dad is selfless, and humble, and totally devoted to God and His plan for his life.  He doesn't want the easy life.  He wants the growing life.  When God spoke to him about the blessing of children, way back in college, Daddy listened.  He let God plan his family and he has never regretted it.  He often tells us kids how thankful he is that each one of us is in this world--that he didn't miss a single child.  Every child God wanted to give him is here.  Right here.   It adds so much value to a person's life to know that they were wanted.  To know that God planned for them to be here and that their parents welcomed them with open arms.  Not begrudgingly but thankfully.   I'm so grateful to be able to say that that is true of my life.
My dad is a devoted husband.  He loves my mom and he shows it every day.  He truly takes the passage in the Bible to heart where God tells husbands to love their wives even as Christ loved the church.  My dad is always giving up his wants for others...not because it's demanded of him but because he wants to.

My dad is one of the calmest, most encouraging people I know.  He doesn't mind change, and he doesn't get stressed about it.  He's a rock.  A quiet strength.  A forever dependable, faithful, protector.   I remember many years ago being at a pastor's conference.  There were classes for the parents and classes for the children, and I didn't want to go to my class.  (My siblings and I were notorious for skipping out on classes.  We didn't want to be separated from our parents even for an hour.)  I remember how Daddy took me for a walk around the property and how I hung on to him, clutching his thumb, and wouldn't let go the whole time.  I still remember that feeling of clinging to him--knowing that as long as I had hold of my Daddy's hand everything would be alright. 
"To her the name of father was another name for love."  ~Fanny Fern
Thank you, Daddy, for being a man of God.  For living not for the moment, nor for worldly gain, but for eternity and the true life that comes in following after God.  You inspire me.  You encourage me.  You make me laugh!  I love you and I'm so grateful to be able to call you "Daddy."
Here is a really sweet song that I just recently discovered.  It's an old one, but I tend to go for old songs over new songs.  It's actually sung from the perspective of a son rather than a daughter...but I like it.  It still says what I'd like to say about my dad. 
And for the record...and just so there's no doubt about it!  I have the best dad in the world!  (Sorry, to everybody else out there!  But like the experts say, good dads are terribly scarce these days.  There's only so many to go around.  Ha!)


  1. Aww, this post was lovely! But you're wrong, Miss March! For it is *I* who has has the best father! :-D Haha. I guess I'm biased too.

    Your rant made me smile and nod. I agree completely about the fact that it is not just 'the father works, the mother takes care of the children.' That's just WRONG. (Although my father is not quite as practical in house-hold stuff (such as cooking) as my mum, I've gotta say. But he's JUST as good with taking care of his children than mum is. It's ridiculous when people say differently!)

    But I have to say I disagree about you saying that fathers always get portrayed wrongly in movies/books - I know a lot of great fathers in movies, actually more than mothers, funny enough. We have Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird (he's the bestest father ever), Charles Ingalls, Lionel Logue (the Kings Speech), Mr Woodhouse (Emma) (Okay, he is a little different.) and so on. I know quite a lot great fathers.

    I LOVE MR BENNET. He's my favourite character from my all-time favourite movie. :-)

    You father sounds like a wonderful person! My father is also a very devoted husband - he shows he loves mum everyday (in fact, we always tease him for over-using words such as 'sweet wife' and 'darling'. Haha.)

    Great post!

    ~ Naomi

    1. Thanks, Naomi! Ha ha! Really? You have the best dad? What do you know! It certainly is amazing how many best dads there are in this world! (Hee hee!)

      Oh, I totally agree with you. There are a lot of good dads in movies. I guess when I wrote this post I was thinking more of a specific type of movie. That kind of movie that has a particular theme or lesson...and where the dad is the main character. I've seen quite a few movies that deal with fatherhood and in almost every one it's the dad who has the problem (usually he works too much and doesn't spend enough time with his family). I just think it would be refreshing for someone to take it from a different angle and make a movie about fatherhood where the father is the exemplary one. People can learn a lot from someone's good example as well as from someone's mistakes. That's just my two cents. Of course, there probably are some movies like that out there...I just haven't had time to watch all of them yet! ;)

      As for the movie characters you mentioned! Yes! Those are definitely good fathers! I love Atticus!! He's the best! And Charles Ingalls, Lionel Logue, and Mr. Woodhouse! All good! (Yes...ha ha!...Mr. Woodhouse is a bit different, but he's so sweet. And he really loves his children.)

      Isn't it wonderful to have parents who love eachother! We are so blessed!

      Thanks for your comment. You are so sweet to comment on every one of my posts. Please, don't ever feel like you have to. But I definitely LOVE hearing from you!

      ~Miss March