When I was little I celebrated Father’s Day by waking up and going to give my dad a big hug around his neck. The obligatory Father’s Day present of a red white and blue tie was typically being held behind my back. I would be grinning from ear to ear as if I was holding a present that would change his life forever. The feeling I would have when dad would act surprised, as if he didn’t see the tie coming, and pick me up to give me a great ole big hug always made me feel special. Funny how I wanted my dad to feel special but he gave me the best feeling a 6-year-old could get.
Forward a few years in the future to Father’s Day 2016. I have my first son, who was born a couple weeks prior, and I wake up to change his diaper. I then sit down with him in my arms and my wife gives me his warm bottle to feed him. I look down in his precious little eyes and Father’s Day instantly changes for me. There is no place I’d rather be. In this moment, you could offer me an 8 day, 7 night, all-expense paid vacation to Hawaii and I would decline the offer. The English language has no way of illuminating the way this feels right now. I then reminisce about the days I innocently stood in front of my dad on Father’s Day with a patriotic tie behind my back. I think about the feeling my dad must have had as I smiled and handed him his gift. It wasn’t the tie that changed his life, it was the boy and his siblings standing in front of him that forever changed his life.
A father to me is not someone that simply has a child. A birth can make you a biological father, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you get to celebrate Father’s Day. A father, to me, is a man that loves a child with his entire heart. A father protects, provides, disciplines and disciples. A father doesn’t just simply raise a child, a father raises a child to be a positive example for all those around him. A father teaches to be responsible, while being that example in the flesh.
Sitting there holding my son, I now get it. All those times we were in the yard tossing the baseball. All the times you followed me around the state of Tennessee to watch me play basketball or soccer. All the energy you poured into me over the years isn’t something you do out of obligation, it’s something you do out of love: a love for your child. A love that is indescribable by the English language.
Thinking about this love and what I would surely do for my own son, I can’t help but to next think of how our Heavenly Father loves us. How He wants good things for us, but beyond that, He wants to spend time with us and for us to desire to spend time with him. He wants us to give him a big hug around his neck, just as little children do with their daddies on Father’s Day. He wants you and me to enjoy the love that He has for us and not get sidetracked with things that do not matter in the end.
This Father’s Day, I am thankful for two things: 1) my earthly father who has given so much for me, and 2) my Heavenly Father who has given me an opportunity to know him and to be loved by him.
Here at Values First Advisors, we want to wish you a Happy Father’s Day.
Authored by Benji Nunn, CFP®