This blog post was originally posted on tumblr.
My dad was never great at expressing his love emotionally. Growing up, hearing the words, “I love you” were few and far between. But his love was always made so clear by his actions. Living in a house full of girls, we broke everything. EVERYTHING. But there was never a doubt in my mind that I’d wake up the next morning and find that my dad already went to great lengths in the night to fix everything, just so we didn’t have to worry. My dad taught me that a good Father never leaves His children in the mess of broken things, nor does he prolong its broken state to teach us a lesson about our mishaps. Instead, He delights in every single task and never rests until the day His children wake up and find that what was once broken has been made new.
I once had a friend whose father became my friend. Making wise decisions on behalf of his family was not his strong suit. But what I love most about him is the hundreds of emails he sends, the countless Facebook messages I receive, the text messages that pop up every once in a while and the voicemails that sit in my inbox. Sometimes the messages are personal. Sometimes I’m one of many in a mass mailing list. But all the time, it brings me joy that he wants to include me in all his conversations. He taught me that a good Father is always trying to connect with His children, not just about urgent matters, but even to share in the little things like a funny joke or life event. Through him, I learned that a good Father will find every avenue to speak with His children and waits patiently with delight for when they finally respond.
I spent a summer with a pastor and found myself incredibly intrigue by the dynamics of his home. He was an anxious person, always pacing back and forth trying to discover the next steps to his calling. His children knew to leave him alone when he was deep in thought. But then I’d sit and listen as he prayed about the vision God had given him, and I quickly saw that every single prayer was always with his children in mind, and that every single step taken was always with his children in mind, and that every single decision made was always with his children in mind. He taught me that the joy set before a good Father to endure His cross is His children, and that the fulfillment of His call does not and cannot exist apart from them.
In my 24 years of walking with the Lord, I’ve heard unbelievable testimonies, I’ve witnessed supernatural miracles, signs and wonders, and I’ve journaled a million sermons that could move mountains. But even so, none of these things rival the greatest revelation of simply knowing that God is my good Father and it is only His perfect love that perfects me. I am grateful for the fathers that I’ve met in this lifetime, who although are far from perfect, have been the grace that allows me to not only imagine but to see the heart of our perfect Father. After talking with my sisters, I realized how impossible it is to be a perfect dad. Haha, but all the more, I look forward to seeing my brothers-in-law demonstrate the love of a good Father to their children, and I celebrate the incredible faith my own children will have in God the Father because of the love that will be poured into them by their earthly dad.