On Father’s Day: Dear Dads

Dear Dads,

I can’t even begin to know what it feels like to walk in your shoes and fulfill your role in 2016; I just can’t. But I imagine that is hard and heavy at times, and I imagine that there are moments that feel extra daunting, super draining, and maybe even down-right depressing at times. I imagine that there are a lot of pressures on your shoulders and a lot of people you are working to “please” and “provide for,” and I imagine that there are days that it would be a whole lot easier to give up, step down, or settle for less in your God-given role.

But I beg of you, please don’t; our world and our families desperately need you!

We need you to remind us of Truth. 

In a world where truth is relative, money is supreme, fame is idolized, sex is extracurricular, terror is real, and Christianity is perceived as “irrelevant” and “intolerant,” we need you to be a different voice for our families.

We need you to remind us that our choices DO matter and that our values ARE eternal. We need you to remind us that there is nothing this world can offer us that will provide forever happiness or secure forever safety. We need you to remind us that sex is to be treasured, families are important, and money is just money. We need you to remind us that HE is our prize, not our political views and certainly not our possessions nor our positions. We need you to remind us of the Good News when our hearts are faint and our fears are big. We need you to rehearse His ways, remind us of His covenant faithfulness, and reiterate the truths that have been craftily distorted. We need you to speak up and speak out– reminding us of His truths, and His grace, and His sanctifying work this side of heaven. And in order to do this, we need you to immerse yourself in His word…feasting on His love and fancying His glory.

We need you.

We need you to shepherd our children. 

In a world where fathers are depicted as “deadbeats” and “dumb butts,” we need you to be a different example.

We need you to be involved, interested, and intentional with our children. We need you to be all the things that our mommies can’t be and shouldn’t be…even though they might try to be. We need you to know that though your ideas, and your methods, and your ways of engaging may be different from ours, they are absolutely necessary and 100% needed. We need you to nurture hearts, discipline souls, and shape minds. We need you to provide stability, enforce structure, and promote integrity, perseverance, and courage in a world that promotes deceit, ease, and tolerance. We need you to model godly manliness in front of our children, reminding them that “being a real man” looks like following Jesus and making much of Him.

We need you.

We need you to love us mothers and wives. 

In a world where being a “super mom” is encouraged, promoted, advertised, and even flaunted, we need you to step in and remind us of our “true identity.” We need you to speak into our mom-guilt and push against our perfectionism. We need you to understand our feelings, challenge our fears, and be gracious with our faults. We need you to lovingly and graciously point out our idols, pray for our weaknesses, promote our strengths, and extend mercy when we don’t let you play the role(s) you need to play. We need you to remind us that there is more to life than “being a mom,” and we also need you to remind us that we are not “just a mom.” We need you to show our children what it means to “love your bride” as “He loved the church,” sacrificing for her needs, loving her with tenderness, and pointing her toward Jesus.

We need you.

We need you to build the church. 

In a world where churches are being divided by preferences, deduced to performances, and deemed as a “good, Sunday activity,” we need you.

We need you to remind our families, friends, and faithful church leaders that “playing church” and “being the church” are two different things. We need you to serve with your gifts, encourage with your gifts, and lead with your gifts. We need you to remind us that church isn’t a perfect place with perfect people; it’s a gathering of fallen people seeking to follow a perfect Savior. We need you to lead the charge on discipleship, evangelism, and teaching, majoring on the majors and minoring on the minors.

We need you.

We need you to make disciples. 

In a world where people are hurting, hopeless, and hungry for peace, we need you to lead us in seeking souls.

We need you to remind us that though our schedules are busy and our lives are full, souls are the only things that will last forever. We need you to take time to disciple new believers, make friends with unbelievers, and do life with iron-sharpening believers. We need you to care about building HIS KINGDOM more than your own, leading the rest of us in a quest for the HOLY and the HEAVENLY.

We need you.

We need you to model cruciform love. 

In a world where “me” is idolized and “my best” is at the center, we need you to demonstrate what it means to engage in humble, sacrificial love.

We need you to show the world that forgiveness is the key to growing relationships and humility is the answer to a lot of our frustrations. We need you to model “taking up your cross and following Him” even when it’s hard, hurts, and doesn’t make a lick of sense. We need you to lead us in showing love to those who are “different” and even “undeserving,” being willing to lay aside your biases and opinions for the sake of modeling and speaking the Language of Jesus and His radical love for ALL PEOPLE and ALL NATIONS.

We need you.

We don’t need you to be foolproof dads, faultless husbands, or even flawless followers of Christ, we just NEED YOU to HELP US make MUCH OF HIM.

Thank you, forever and ever and EVER, for the moments, minutes, months, and many years that you continue to “step up” and “live out” such an important role not only in and for our families, but also for the countless souls that are watching you from a distance.

We love you; we appreciate you; and we NEED you.

Happy Father’s Day!

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