There’s something so calming and decompressing about the loving arms of a caring father.
As our family grew, I was the one that was on the front lines daily, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, supplying the needs for our six children.
But when Dad came home, all focus was on him, his presence, and all the kids would rush to him to tell him of their day, to grab a hug, to just be with him.
He’d lie on the ground when they were little, and they’d crawl all over him.
I’m seeing that duplicated now with our daughter’s family as they’re with us. With their six kids, our son-in-law is the Game Master for family fun. Evenings are spent over board games, with everyone participating. Jeremy orchestrates it with humor and kindness, which attracts kids like bees to honey.
Two-year-old Cal, who isn’t yet into board games, wants to be part of the action. He tags along after his dad, putting himself in the space his dad needs to be.
Not always convenient.
Jeremy has to exercise his leg because of ongoing pain. Prostrate on the floor, stretched out so he can roll his knee to reduce the pain, his position cries out for interactive engagement from his son, who just wants to be up close with his dad.
What was fun to watch was how Jeremy accommodated Cal, carefully adjusting his position to keep him close.
I grew up with a dad who was not only present but engaged with each of us. He was the fun one, the safe place, the keeper of all our secrets. He knew how to console us and make life seem normal when it felt all out of control.
I was fortunate to have had a father who was kind and loving. So many have father wounds that stem from distant or absent dads, dads who are uninterested or choose not to be invested in the lives of their kids, or who are nothing more than big bullies. And yet fathers are typically where young men learn how to treat women well and where young women learn what it means to be treated well by a man.
People who don’t have solid father figures often find it hard to know what kind and caring men are supposed to be like. As adults, they struggle with healthy role models.
The beauty is we all have access to a Father who is there for us whenever we need Him. One who knows us and won’t turn His back on us, no matter how messy or miserable we become.
God has made us for a relationship with Him. He’s the perfect Father, who is always available to listen to what we have to say, to be present with us when life is overwhelming and pain intrudes on all that’s good. He’s full of grace and mercy, forgiving us even for those things that seem unforgivable.
That’s true Fatherly love.
All we have to do is receive it. He is ready and willing to give it.
It’s a remarkable thing to cozy up to a perfect Father who sees me as His delight.
Never as an inconvenience.