A Good Dad

I was very stupid at nineteen. I was also widly self-absorbed, which, when stirred into stupid made for an unfortunate personality cocktail.

In those days, my narcissistic worldview was matched by a less-than-endearing attitude that I was always on point about exactly everything. No one could tell me a thing I hadn’t thought of first. In fact, I was allergic to reasonableness, details, rules, and every kind of follow through. I was also annoyed by every little thing you did. They said I was a real peach.

You will note the irony, then, when at nineteen, I somehow made the most heads-up, brilliant, far-reaching, and best decision of my life: I chose to love David. Twenty-five years after the miracle fact, my parents are still shaking their heads in disbelief and wonder  gratitude. It’s no secret that they love him more than they do me.

Was it sheer luck, then, that in a season bereft of a shred of much wisdom, I experienced a flash of thoughtful maturity, like a strike of lightning on a clear day? Had I randomly picked the winning lottery ticket? Or was there possibly more to the story?

Of course there is more, friends, and his name was “Dad”.

I had a faithful dad. He wasn’t perfect, but my father was constant and true. Dad believed that God would take care of his family in every way. He never returned evil for evil. He was faithful to mom, and encouraged his five children with great zeal.

My father entrusted himself  into God’s hands, even during exceptionally difficult times. I grew up tasting and seeing that God was really good. Of all the things dad taught me while under his roof, this is the lesson for which I am most grateful.

And so, even with all my issues, at the awful awkward age of nineteen, I was able to identify a man who delighted in God’s ways, and who understood what it meant to be faithful. Thanks, dad.

David had a faithful dad. His father wasn’t perfect either, but he was patient, generous, and devoted to the well-being of his family. For eighteen years, David was a keen observer of a humble man who took his calling as a husband and father seriously.

David’s dad committed his ways, his marriage, his time, and his family to the LORD, and so his youngest son grew up tasting and seeing that God was really good. 

At the age of nineteen, David knew what it looked like to live, and love, as a faithful man. Thanks, dad.

We have a faithful Father in heaven. Not all earthly dads are faithful, or good. Many are absent. Some are selfish. None is perfect. For some of us, there may be significant pain, feelings of loss, hate, confusion, or anger when we think about our fathers. It tastes bitter. This is not as it should be.

If this is you, please know that you did not pull the losing lottery ticket. There is also more to your story. Your earthly father is not like your Heavenly Father. He will never leave you. He would die, rather than lose you. His face is forever turned towards you, and his ear is always attentive to your cry. Your Father carries you, fights for you, comforts you, and welcomes you. Crawl into his open arms. Seek his wise counsel.

Even when you blame, doubt, or forget him, your Father’s love will not turn cold. He is not demanding. He is not calculating, or conditional. His ways are not man’s ways! As his beloved and precious child, there is nothing you can do to lose his love. He made you, weeps with you, delights over you, and you are his. You will always be his. Your name is engraved on his hands, forever.

Good dads, you display God’s love and commitment to all his children in your humble and daily faithfulness. Thank you.

May the LORD you ever bless you, and keep you – today and always – and give you his peace.


15 responses to A Good Dad

  1. Grace Snodgrass. says:

    Lovely and funny. I loved the words you striked. Well done! I, like you, was very lucky in the father I was given. He died in 1985 when I was only 30. I, like you, was pretty arrogant and didn’t want to listen. I am thankful that my dad got to see me start to turn that attitude around before he went home to our Heavenly Father.

  2. judy everswick says:

    amen and amen 🙂

    Love you…..


  3. revbradl says:

    Kim, Thanks for writing this. I am one of those imperfect dads that desperately seeks to honor God in front of my wife and kids. I have an 18 year old daughter who has very little regard for me, and it is breaking my heart. Keep me in your prayers as I continue to love her in spite of it all.

  4. Evelyn Syvertsen says:

    Beautifully said. I smiled when you wrote about your dad. When I think of him, one phrase I immediately connect with him is, “Isn’t God good to us?” Don’t know if he still says that a lot, but I once spent a week with your family at my parents’ cabin when you guys were on furlough. In that one week, I don’t know how many times I heard him say that…

  5. Patty Jensen says:

    Thanks, Kim. What a beautiful post. I was crying at the end, feeling all the love you have for your three Fathers. Next month it will be 33 years that my father died and I miss him more than I can put into words. God truly blessed you! Thanks, again

  6. allyallyt says:

    my goodness! love this post. thank you for sharing.

  7. Given Breath says:

    I will! I’m telling you, those later teens were much more challenging for me, as a girl, than the early teens. I am sure that I gave my dad convulsions, and night terrors. You are such an important figure in her young life, dad. Stay the course, pray without ceasing, and do not fear. I do believe that she will rise up and call you blessed. Thanks so much for the note.

  8. bethwinze says:

    I love this post!! It’s a beautiful reminder as to our Father in Heaven. This was truly a comforting read!

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