Dads come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Some dads have lots of money. Others don’t. Some dads are quite handsome and energetic. Others are rather ordinary looking and a bit lethargic. Some dads like the outdoors. Others like to read, or watch television. Some dads make amazing things with their hands. Others don’t.
Every dad is different! The qualification for being a dad goes beyond being the physical father of a child. There are many men who are fathers but have never been a dad. A dad is a special title for a father who has graduated to the name “Dad”.
A dad is a person who takes you in his arm when you are born and has that special smile on his face that says: “I love you. You are God’s special gift to me.” He shows your photo to everybody he knows, because you are the most beautiful baby ever born.
When you get home from the hospital dad makes sure everything is ready at home. He already has bought a sleeper for you of his favorite sports team. He starts to dream of what you will be like as you grow up. He may avoid changing your diaper, or giving you a bath, but he is patiently waiting for the day when you can do fun things with him.
As you become a toddler, dad makes sure that you have the most important thing in life which is a ball. He teaches you what to do with the ball. If you throw well, he sees you playing in the World Series. If you kick well, he sees you eventually playing in the World Cup.
When school begins, dad will tell you how important an education is. He may even say: “You don’t want to grow up to be like me.” The funny thing is that if he is a true dad, you do want to grow up and be like him. Dad sometimes embarrasses you when he cheers for you loudly at a soccer or a baseball game. He means well, but you wish he would be a bit quieter with his cheering.
Dad may not only care for your physical, educational, financial, and emotional needs, but He may also teach you from the Word of God. Dad has found wisdom, guidance, and comfort from the Word of God, and he wants to share this aspect of his life with you.
In the teenage years, dad finds his role changing. You no longer look up to him as an expert in everything. Dad tries to adjust to this new role. He continues to tell you what is the best thing to do, but something has changed, and dad knows it. He feels the pain of seeing you reject his wise counsel. He may respond in anger, silence or in prayer. In whatever way dad responds, he still loves you and longs to keep you from the pain of making bad decisions.
During the teenage years, dad is still willing to support you financially. Often, dad accepts the fact that you are not grateful. A dad’s love stays strong though you may not appreciate it during this stage of your life. Dad will love you no matter how many mistakes you make, because you are his child.
When dad says goodbye to you as you leave home as an adult. It is a day of mixed emotions. Dad is happy to see you able to make wise choices, but he will miss hearing his beloved child say: “Dad” every day. He will miss playing catch, riding bikes, the family vacations, and just those times of being together. Above all, dad will miss saying: “This is how you do it.”
As the years pass, and we become parents, we soon understand what being a dad is all about. When the time comes for us to say goodbye to dad, as he leaves this life. We think back upon all the things we wish we had said. We wish we could have one more day with him and say: “I love you” one last time. Now, we are left with our memories, photos and those famous words that we learned from dad that we now say to our children: “This is how you do it.”