Fatherly Love Multiplies
Happy Father’s Day! This weekend we have the exciting opportunity to express our love and appreciation for the men who have had a HUGE impact on our lives. I want dads to realize that all the love, laughter, and lessons they put into raising children goes far beyond their own kids. Fatherly love multiplies when you give your kids a foundation of values they can build on to impact the lives of their own friends and future families.
I grew up in a family of 5, but the dinner table was always set for 8.
Why? Because my dad encouraged an “open door policy” in his home where all our friends were welcomed and loved. My mom and dad went beyond hospitality–they got to know our friends and created a wholesome family environment where anyone could come to talk, laugh, find encouragement… or at least eat some good food!
A few of our friends came over… and never really left. My dad welcomed them in as part of the family. He made sure they always had a seat at the table.
Build a Foundation
Every evening we sat down to dinner, prayed over our food, and began a conversation by going around the table and answering my dad’s question of the night:
“What is one thing you are thankful for?”
“What is one thing we all love about [one lucky person at the table]?”
“What is one thing you’re really good at?”
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
He encouraged everyone to dream big, do the right thing, pursue God, and value loved ones. He gave us a strong foundation that we are all continuing to build on.
Put Values into Action
My dad didn’t just encourage us with his favorite family mottoes; he lived by them. My sister and her best friend cheered–my dad went to so many games he could recite every cheer by the end of freshman year. Our friend went on to cheer at NC State–my dad traveled from New York to North Carolina for the NC State vs. Florida State game–and requested seats “wherever we will be closest to the cheerleaders!”
We all knew that my dad supported us and would always be there for us with unconditional love because that’s what he did time and time again. Those are values we all put into practice now with our friends and families too.
My dad has 3 children, but every year he gets 6 Father’s Day cards.
Why? Because he intentionally took the time to pour into the lives around him.
The “regulars” from our childhood dinner table now live between upstate New York, New York City, North Carolina, and south Florida as mid-20-year old’s working, getting married, and raising kids.
We all still call and text my dad asking for help, advice, and encouragement. He’s impacted all of our lives. But it doesn’t end there now that we’ve all moved out of town. His impact will multiply as we all sit around our own family dinner tables to pray and come up with a question of the night.
Thank you to all the men who give children a foundation of faith, hope, and love. Biological father or not, your godly example of love and support means everything. You are laying a strong foundation that will impact generations to come.