What makes a father a hero

* I originally wrote this piece for Father's Day 2014 but I'm sharing it again today to celebrate the heroes in our lives * I don’t know if my husband feels all of the gratitude and love I carry in this little heart of mine for the father he is to our three boys.

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.

I don’t always do a great job of expressing the thankfulness that rocks my world when I see him doing life with our boys.

He’s too humble to believe he’s a hero to our boys. Really, I think he’s a hero, this man of mine.

I’ve heard it said more than once that children see earthly fathers as a reflection of their Heavenly Father – that children tend to associate the character of their dad with the character of God.

I don’t know if that’s true for everyone. I know it’s been true for me.

Because my Dad loved me unconditionally, because he accepted me in my failure and in my success, because he welcomed me into his arms after I crashed and burned with a heart torn and tattered, because he prayed with me over the phone every morning during my first few weeks in college when I felt so alone, because he made time (time!) to be with me and made me feel like the apple of his eye, I believed my Heavenly Father was also very fond of me.

 

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Fast forward to my mid 20’s when I made mistakes I was sure made me unlovable to God. Grace was lost on me. And I spent years ceaselessly striving to earn back God's acceptance of me.

But then ….. God gave me the man who became my husband and the father of my children, the man who would ultimately remind me what the Father’s heart is like all over again.

This man who is an extraordinary dad to our boys.

A dad who makes time to enjoy our children.

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A dad who runs a company by day and plays basketball in the backyard with our boys by night.

A dad who coaches our boy’s football teams and takes them on individual dates.

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A dad who reads the Psalms with our oldest son before he leaves for work.  Who asks our boys how he can pray for them throughout the day. Who tells great stories in the dark and reads the Bible with our boys at night.

A dad who spontaneously writes love letters to each of our boys.

A dad of extraordinary strength and humility who continually sacrifices for us. Who puts God first and his family second.

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A dad who has modeled for our boys and me how to say the nine hardest words - “I am sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me.”

That is the greatest gift he has given our boys. His willingness to admit his weaknesses and his need for Christ.

This man of mine- he isn't perfect.  No earthly father is.

He's our hero because he gives us a small glimpse of what it feels like to be known and loved unconditionally by our perfect Heavenly Father.