- Happy Father’s Day
- Featured Presentation: Are you a father or a dad?
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You don’t get to practice being a parent. You aren’t one. Then, one day you are one. In some ways then parenting is one big experiment trying to figure out what does and doesn’t work. And, just when you think you might have figured it out, here comes another child–this one totally different than the last. Back to square one. Well, sort of.
On this Father’s Day, I’d like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Harold Arnold, Sr. and all the other men out there who are actively fathering a child.
In the 1950’s there was a popular television show “Father Knows Best”, starring Robert Young. His character, Jim Anderson, was a man above reproach. He was well respected by all. He always ultimately made the right decision for the family. He was always there when he needed to be—delicately balancing work, community, and family. In fact, some say the show’s success hinged on the fact that Jim Anderson wasn’t really like a “Father” at all – he was more like a “Dad”.
This raises some interesting questions. What is the difference between a father and a dad? Are they synonymous? Is one more important than the other? Which one is my father? Which one am I?
The answer may lie in our understanding of God as “Abba Father”. The word “Abba” is an Aramaic word most closely translated as “Daddy.” It was a common term that young children would use to address their fathers. It signifies the close, intimate relationship of a father to his child.
Being a dad is about nurturing your children from birth to death—often fighting through major barriers (e.g., custody battles, crazed schedules, geographic distance) to do so. Why? A dad wants to know and be known intimately with his children. A dad understands that the way his children see him influences their ability to see God as Abba Father and ultimately live out their true calling and destiny.
My father is a great dad—not in comparison to a fictitious television character that seems to always know best. But, when compared to God’s edict to be intimate with his children—my father excels because I choose to remember his strengths rather than his shortcomings.
My ability to see his strengths allows me to clearly see five key lessons that I have learned by observing him—lessons that I have to strive to convey to my own children. In fact, I believe every dad should teach his children these five lessons.
5 Lessons Every Dad should Teach His Children
· Believe in something bigger than yourself
· Demonstrate a strong work ethic
· Be Comfortable in Your own skin
· See the good in others
· Don’t take yourself too seriously
All of us men who have fathered children have a decision to make. Do you want to be a father or a dad? It’s an important question that in many ways will influence the lives of your children for years to come. So, choose to be a dad.
In retrospect, I’m glad that my father didn’t always know best because it shows me that being a dad is about persistence not perfection. This is why I love him. It is my love for him that opens my heart to experiencing God as Abba Father.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.
I would love to hear your thoughts about your dad.
You can read the blog post with more details on this topic by clicking HERE. Also, if you want to hear a previous podcast on fatherhood with James Rodriguez of the Father and Family Coalition of America by clicking HERE.
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