Sometimes, I think Joseph really drew the short stick when it comes to historic appreciation.
He chose to stay and helped to raise the very Son of God when he could have easily walked away from Mary and her unborn child. He took a leap of faith to protect them from Herod, who wanted to kill the newborn Jesus, by doing exactly as an angel of the Lord warned him to do – even when it meant moving his brand new family to a different country. He was with Mary as they anxiously searched for the lost twelve-year-old Jesus for three days, eventually finding him with the leaders of the temple.
And that’s the last we hear of Joseph. Joseph doesn’t even have a single speaking line in the Bible, and many assume he must have died before Jesus began his adult ministry.
But Joseph was a shining example what a great father is – he stepped up to the plate to be there for his family, leading by example with his faith and integrity. Like many fathers today, he did these things without much attention or fanfare.
I’m proud to know so many men who have embodied the true spirit of fatherhood, and on days like today, I’m honored to give them some fanfare. For all the times we minimized the role you have in our lives and the lives of our children, I am so sorry.
You are more than a helping hand to get through baths and bedtime. You’re more than the caricature of the incompetent goof dad we see on TV. You’re more than all you provide for us, which we take for granted all too often.
Your example, guidance, playfulness, discipline, provision, protection, love and support are helping to shape who our children will become and teaching them what it means to be a good man in this world. For us as mothers, you’re a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, a partner in this most important and difficult job of raising human beings.
This morning, our kids were uncharacteristically well behaved in church. We came home and had a giant Dads vs. Kids water fight with the neighbors. We dried off in the sunshine, sitting together as a family to share a picture-perfect picnic lunch. Later today, we’ll visit family and get to thank my own father for all he’s done for us and our kids.
In its simplicity, it’s been a truly idyllic Father’s Day.
To all the fathers out there, thanks for all you do. Thanks for being there for your families. Thanks for the spirit of love you show your children every time you play a game, fix a boo-boo, or teach a lesson. Thanks, especially, for the dad jokes.
We may not be the best at showing our appreciation, but I believe our lives are made better by the fathers who step up to the plate every single day. Here’s to you, dads! Xo