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Today is Father’s Day. Well, at least it is in Australia.

This is the day we set aside to reflect on fathers. Perhaps not all of us had the blessing to know our fathers, perhaps not all of us had a “dad”. For many, this is a time to honour fathers who are no longer with us but are by faith in a better place.

I really don’t know what it’s like to be a father, but I know how I see my father. So let me tell you 3 things I admire about my earthly “Daddy”.

1. A room with dad has a 7.5% chance of being quiet.

This morning as I was getting my nerves ready to worship lead, I heard a loud, “WHOAAA! SO GOOD TO SEE YOU!” from the back of the room and nearly jumped off the platform.

He has this way of letting people know he’s excited to see them. When I talk to visitors I say, “Oh I’m the daughter of the Asian man who was like ‘WHOAAA! SO GOOD TO MEET YOU!!’ Do you know the one I’m talking about?”

They always know.

Apparently this trait is heritable, so I say bring it on!

2. My dad loves souls.

He loves helping others and will go out of his way to make sure they are okay.

Even though they may not want to listen when he is says, “You need to study, young man,” “Young lady, you’re still to young for a boyfriend,” or even, “Son, you need Jesus”, he tells them anyway in the hopes that when they are down in the dumps and can’t think of anything else worth doing in life, they will remember the advice of that strange Asian man.

He has a heart for people, and I hope this, too, passes on to me.

3. Most importantly, my dad loves God

No, no. You don’t understand. He LOVES God. He reads the word, he sings praises in the shower, he buys books about the Bible, he talks about it at the dinner table, he tells everyone he meets that Jesus loves them.

He is sold on the truth!

The Bible says, “Buy the truth and sell it not.” Proverbs 23:23.

Proverbs 22:6 also says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Train by example.

Honestly, there have been and will be hard times when I will feel like throwing the towel in. But remembering that my father stood so stedfastedly on God’s word even to the point of being called “radical” is what keeps me grounded in the truth. Because then I remember what God has done for my father, and his testimony is something I cannot deny. And I remember MY testimony is something I cannot deny.

And yes, tears are gathering in my eyes at this stage.

These are 3 in a million things I could tell you about my dad. How he embarrasses me when he tells lame jokes (but secretly I think they are funny), he even laughs the loudest at his own jokes, we fight together, we cry together, we discover together, we pray together, we misunderstand each other, we understand each other. He’s not perfect, far from it. But I love my Daddy and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else.

Now I’m really crying.

So to the fathers I say: you might not realize it, but your children are watching you, building a picture or you in their minds. How do you want your children to view you? How do you want them to grow up? They are watching you.

To the sons and daughters: sometimes we don’t realise the burden laid upon our father’s shoulders. Sometimes they don’t have time to play or are grouchy and tired because they have been working all day to make sure there is enough money in the bank to feed us, clothe us, keep us happy. Some fathers have more responsibilities than his immediate family. Some are ministers and have a greater burden to bear. But I know that they want us to know just how much they love us and regret every single moment they are not holding us in their arms and telling us that everything will be okay.

To the fatherless: whether by his choice or life’s circumstances, your father in his right mind would be proud of you. Regardless of where you are in life, what problems you are facing, what successes or failures you have met, that you are still standing, fighting and breathing is enough to make him proud of you.
And I tell you now that you DO have a father. One who gave his life for you. One who has a purpose for your life. One who has his arms wide open ready to embrace you. His name is Jesus.

Happy father’s day!