Father’s Day. As with any holiday there are those who celebrate with great joy, but I am mindful too there are those who struggle with this holiday, having been abandoned, hurt or maybe even never knowing their father. I thought of those yesterday, maybe because in my circle I know too many struggling there. Maybe because it was the Spirit’s prompting as I seek this year to be mindful of joy, to be mindful of others.
My small family is pictured above. A family my husband and I longed to have, waited to have, and fight for every single day. As I watched my girls prepare for the day, celebrate their father, I had to pause and thank God, not just for this man of mine, but for giving me the wisdom and the discernment 26 years ago to pick this man. 26 years ago my own family was going through a difficult time. Relationships were strained. Somehow in the midst of it all, I was able to see this man for who he was. He didn’t let the strained relationships of my family deter him, instead he became my rock, my encourager. He often held me accountable, reminding me time heals, and that what I did with the situation would set the course for my life, more than the situation itself.
My girls wanted to get their dad a tie this year. Yes, the proverbial tie. It was a stylish little Southern Tide model. They always seek to keep their dad in the latest and greatest. He loved it. He really did! As I reflected though over the course of the day the tie became symbolic. My husband works for himself and NEVER dresses up for work. However, he is a traditionalist when it comes to worship and every Sunday dresses in his very best-right down to the tie. The tie for him is a symbol of “best”, a reminder of more traditional days and times. It is a reminder to me I married a man who values tradition, not in an “I refuse to change kind of way”, but in a traditional values and morals matter kind of way. He believes in family. He fights for family. He encourages family and friends a like to value their family. He has raised our girls to honor family, even in the difficult times, even when it hurts. He holds firm to the biblical teaching that God created family, it is His plan for man on earth. It was created long before the church. Family matters, and matters more than church, work, ministry. Family isn’t ALL that matters, but it is priority, it is the foundation on which societies are built. I am so thankful this man has taught right priorities, has lived what he preaches.
Our family is far from perfect. On both sides of our family we have those who have hurt us, some who have strayed from faith, others who have never known faith. I am thankful the leader of my family says, “That’s no excuse to quit family.” I am thankful my girls are learning grace, how to give it and how to except it through family relationships.
Families are the ties that bind. They are the building blocks of society, they are the building blocks of the church. How we manage our families, how we respond to crisis, hurt and disappointment in our families reflects our faith. Who we are at home reflects our true selves. Families are the ties that bind.