Today in many countries around the world, people are celebrating the fathers in their life. Here at Mormon Women, we’ll be celebrating fatherhood all week (similar to what we did the week before Mother’s Day).
Today’s post is by Sue.
Happy Father’s Day!
My husband is the kind of father every child needs and deserves to have but doesn’t always get. Sadly, those who are not blessed with such fathers become painfully aware of it over time, for they must navigate life in the absence of that strong, supportive presence from whose influence every young person should benefit.
The fortunate ones, those who do have a stalwart and loving father in their lives, may never fully appreciate their good luck. Being parented by a strong, devoted man who gives his all to create a safe, secure place for you to grow and thrive makes it’s hard to even imagine living outside the shadow of that sheltering tree he provides. Not that you don’t value the branches that protect you, just that you don’t know what it’s like to brave the elements without them. And you never will know either, not until your father passes away, and even then you will somehow feel his influence in a way that comforts and sustains you. The essence of a good father is never really removed from his children, even when his physical presence is gone.
One of my sons, a pretty wonderful father in his own right, is a marriage and family therapist who has counseled adolescent offenders incarcerated in the criminal justice system. These are generally young men whose standards are either skewed or non-existent, gang members who have committed murder or other violent acts with little or no remorse. Their world of struggling for survival has seldom been peopled with supportive, hands-on fathers, and almost never with men who were ready and willing to model behavior conducive to a healthy, positive lifestyle. This son of mine has always appreciated and looked up to his dad, but working in juvenile hall has probably given him a more meaningful understanding of the powerful role a father plays in the lives of his children.
Of course, I have always understood the role my husband plays in our family, and on this Father’s Day, I want to take this opportunity to thank him. I am grateful that my children have grown up beneath his sheltering tree, and I share with them the gift of knowing that someone solid, steady, and reliable will always stand beside me. As hard as he works, as all-consuming as his schedule can be, I know with certainty that he is ready to drop everything to support his loved ones in time of need. His constant, enduring (and endearing) commitment is to making life better for the people he serves so selflessly––the family he has sacrificed himself for every day of his married life.
p.s. It has always been a comfort to me knowing that all of us are born with a Heavenly Father, whose love and concern for us are infinite. His tender care and compassion are extended to every man and woman who seek Him, and His influence in our lives and hearts is more powerful and perfect than we can imagine. How grateful I am for His kind and constant presence in my life.