Hello again, dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! It’s yet again Father’s Day, and I’d like to take a moment to touch on something that I consider every year on this day. What makes a man a father? You know, if you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, that I didn’t grow up with one. In fact, I barely remember him, since I was only six when my parents divorced and he didn’t seek custody. I carried his last name though, all the way up until I got married. If I wasn’t nearly an identical twin of my mom I might have wondered about whether or not I had been adopted. My sister had my mothers maiden name, so I was the only one in the house with a different last name. But the day that my name finally changed, a different man walked me down the isle and gave me away.
What made that other man more of a father figure to me than my actual, biological, father? My uncle is the only father figure I had growing up, after spending two years living with him and my aunt, and countless summers with them after that. He provided a home, food, clothes, love, and discipline, when no one else would. Of the five children he provided for during those years, only one was his biological son. Two of the girls were his step daughters from my aunts previous marriage, and the other two girls were my sister and I. It’s a tall order to provide for that many people, to go to work each day, to put them all in sports and then show up to every game, to couch when needed, to practice with them, to tuck them in when they’re sick. Never once while living there did I see a difference in how my aunt and uncle treated the five of us, if we weren’t all their children by birth it was hard to tell.
I remember asking my aunt if I could call her mom and call my uncle dad. She told me no, and explained that I had parents that loved me. I didn’t understand at the time, but it’s something unique and very special that two people who weren’t my parents had chosen to act in their place. It would have been easy to skim on the parenting part, to let some attitude issues slide, to ignore the glaringly obvious need I had for discipline. After all, I was eventually going to be someone else’s problem. But my uncle never ignored it, never let it slide, was never content to push off the right thing to someone else. Without his guidance, I doubt I would have been able to avoid drugs during my teen years. He taught me self control, and though I rarely demonstrated it in any other area, it was due to his structure that I was able to pass classes. I followed the template he and my aunt set for me, using what little self discipline I gleaned from his painstaking effort to get through the toughest moments.
What makes a man a father? I don’t guess, as a woman, that I’ll ever understand it. One man is my father by birth, I can just barely remember him singing Brown Eye’d Girl to me and playing the guitar to help me sleep. Yet, he wasn’t a father to me growing up. Another man, not by blood or by marriage, chose to step up into the roll of father, eventually walking me down the aisle and giving me away. There’s a disconnect here that I’m unable to reconcile. But I’m very thankful for God’s providence in allowing me to have a fixed point in my childhood, just those two years, and a man that helped teach me how to ride a bike, catch a ball, and tie a shoe. We have an issue in the Church, I hear it over and over again when I interview believers on the podcast, there’s no discipleship happening. We need men willing to stand up in the place where fathers are missing, and teach young boys how to follow after Christ. We need women willing to stand up in the place where mother’s are missing and do the same. I’m thankful to all the men and women who are already doing that. I’m thankful for the fathers that are teaching their children Scriptures. I hope you are all having a blessed Father’s Day. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.