When I was falling in love with my husband, I didn’t stop and ask myself what kind of father he would be. After we were engaged, a woman told me to watch how he treated his mother. If he treated her well then he would treat me in the same manner. No words have been any truer, and I have extended this same advice to my own daughters.
I am very lucky though that my husband has turned out to be a pretty amazing dad. He is the kind of father that helps when it is time for birthday parties. He is the kind of father that the night before Halloween or Thanksgiving, he’s designing an outfit for the girls to wear to school. He is the kind of father that on our girls’ 16th birthday, he took them all out to a very nice restaurant of their choice, bought them flowers and showed them how a man should treat a woman. When our girls went to prom, he not only drove them to the Prom, he stayed in the area just to peek in from time to time to watch them as they danced and enjoyed their special night.
The greatest gift I believe that he has given them is his love for me. Men, if you really want to show daughters how they are to be treated, then treat your wife the way you want a husband to treat them. If you want your sons to know how to treat their wives, men, then set that example. And if you treat your wife in a manner contrary, then your sons should call you out.
I was told this story from a couple – that during a difficult season with their son – he started being very disrespectful to his mother. The father one day took his son out to his workshop and placing his arm around him, he softly and a little menacingly told him, “she may be your mother, but she was my wife first. I don’t let any man treat her the way you have been treating her. Now that you are becoming a man, consider this your one and final warning.” Needless to say that their son’s attitude got considerably better.
I am so thankful for the example that my father set for me with my own mother. I can always remember how my dad would go out in the morning during the wintertime and crank my mom’s car for her while she was getting ready so that she would get into a warm car for her drive to work.
If you are a true student of God’s Word, you know that the father nature of God is to provide. I have seen this so many times in my own father and in my husband. Whenever our girls are in need, he does whatever he can to help. Having three girls, he has at times been stretched in their need for his time and attention.
To be honest, I have been struggling with parenting lately. I have found that this season of parenting adult children has been the hardest so far. So, I wanted to take the time to honor my own father and my children’s father in this article.
No parent is perfect, and I think that is one of the hardest parts of parenting – your own imperfection and how it affects those which you most treasure. My own father had his faults, but to me, he is a hero.
I do have memories of times that my father or my husband may have missed the mark, but I choose not to remember those as much and to focus on the moments when they did. I believe that as our girls grow older, they will see that their father was an amazing example of the Father’s perfect love in an imperfect vessel, just as I see this about my own father. How thankful I am of the reflection he has shown me over the years of God’s grace and unfailing love. Even when I have hurt my daddy, he has always been there to extend grace and love, with consistency.
If it were not for my daddy’s imperfect, perfect love, I would not have seen the true nature of God … nor would I have sought out our heavenly Father to lean on during some of my formative moments in life.
I am very fortunate and grateful to have such amazing men in my life – men who are authentic and real. They are men who always try to be the best versions of themselves, men who have chosen to love me and my imperfections and who are willing to see the best version of me in all that I do.
Thank you, Chuck Day and Bruce Brantley, for loving me. And in the words of my grandmother, “thanks for being mine.”
Selena Day is a motivational speaker and is available to speak at your conference or event. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.queenliving.org http://facebook.com/queenismsbyselenaday. Photographs courtesy of Selena Day.
By Selena Day
First published by SGNScoops Magazine in June 2017.
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