I have a great father.
I know that is probably not the experience of a lot of people today, and that truly breaks my heart, because I have a great father.
My dad is the type of dad who loves deeply. He supports his children and bends over backwards to make sure we have all of our needs met.
He’s the type of dad who encourages with words and actions.
When I was a kid, we somehow formed the habit of him singing the “Wally World National Anthem,” or, as we lovingly referred to it, the “Marty Moose Song” from National Lampoon’s Vacation every single night before bed. My dad has always traveled for work, and even when he was out to business dinners, sitting at a table with customers, he would pick up the phone at our bedtime, and unapologetically sing that silly song just so he could be a part of our family routine every single night.
When I got in a car accident only months after getting my license, I called him and his only response was, “Are you okay?” There was no anger, no yelling, no lecturing. Sure, there were consequences, but that came later. All he cared about in the moment was making sure I was okay and helping me.
When I went to a high school that was unhealthy for me, I told him I wanted to transfer. He asked why, and I explained. He said “okay” and he made it happen.
When I’m at college and feeling sad, he will always pick up the phone and listen to me through my tears, even when I’m miles away from home.
My older sister runs her own clothing company, and if you need an example of the goodness of my dad, just listen to his words to her.
I have a great father.
He is far from perfect, but he loves well. He has allowed me to mess up and know that he will help me back up when I fall. He has encouraged me to keep trying when I feel like giving up. He has died to himself in so many ways to make sure I am happy. He has led our family in the faith and shown me what the Heavenly Father’s love is like because I have witnessed it for myself in his love.
I have a great father.
This world needs more good fathers.
God ultimately serves as our true Father in Heaven, but in His great design, we have earthly fathers to show us His love from our first moments. These men are supposed to be role models in our lives. Forming us and teaching us what love looks like every single day so we can say “Yes!” to the will of our heavenly Father.
Thank you, dad. May your tribe increase.
With Father’s Day just around the corner, here are what some popes and saints have to say about fatherhood.
“Being a father entails introducing children to life and reality. Not holding them back, being overprotective or possessive, but rather making them capable of deciding for themselves, enjoying freedom and exploring new possibilities.” – Patris Corde
“Fathers are not born, but made. A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another, in some way he becomes a father to that person.” – Patris Corde
“Every family needs a father.” – General Audience 2/4/2015
“That a father be present in the family. That he be close to his wife, to share everything, joy and sorrow, hope and hardship. And that he be close to his children as they grow: when they play and when they strive, when they are carefree and when they are distressed, when they are talkative and when they are silent, when they are daring and when they are afraid, when they take a wrong step and when they find their path again; a father who is always present.” – General Audience 2/4/2015
“A good father knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the depths of his heart.” – General Audience 2/4/2015
“Without the grace that comes from the Father who is in Heaven, fathers lose courage, and abandon camp. But children need to find a father waiting for them when they come home after failing. They will do everything not to admit it, not to show it, but they need it; and not to find it opens wounds in them that are difficult to heal.” – General Audience 2/4/2015
“Love for his wife as mother of their children and love for the children themselves are for the man the natural way of understanding and fulfilling his own fatherhood. “ – Familiaris Consortio
“In revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God, a man is called upon to ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of the family.” – Familiaris Consortio
“Be firm. Be virile. Be a man. And then… be a saint.” – Opus Dei
“Christ tells his married followers that they are to reveal and relive on earth the very fatherhood of God. On these premises, a man is called to ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of his family. He will perform this responsibility by exercising generous, even heroic charity, for the life conceived under the heart of the mother. He must be deeply concerned for the education of his children. He must share with his wife the duty of training these children in the knowledge of their faith and their love for God. With God’s grace, he must do everything possible to avoid division, and foster unity and stability in the family. With his wife, he is to be a channel of grace to his children, whom they have brought into this world in order to reach their heavenly destiny.” – The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood