How We Do Father’s Day

Last Friday, my daughter walks into the room and requests a strange list of items. I have to admit, I was a bit concerned at first.

  • A cardboard box
  • tape (not my fancy kind, she knows better)
  • some print outs of fish

I know what you’re thinking, doesn’t sound so weird right? She’s probably just making a father’s day gift for her daddy… Yes, that was the case but if you know my daughter, normal arts and craft supplies are not the norm for her. She would rather give him a collage made up of the ‘treasures” she finds in various places or use a lightening bug’s butt to write a secret message on a piece of paper (that you Nana Elzie). None of which usually require my permission. So I was a bit concerned that there was more to this present than what her list of supplies indicated. I poked around only to figure out that she was making a collage of pictures and writing happy father’s day in the middle. That was all. I was pleasantly surprised.

She then requested for her brothers to help her and said she needed to go complete the project at granny and papa’s so daddy didn’t see it. Ok, I said, as I thought to myself, ‘YES! This is an AWESOME father’s day miracle! She wants to do something normal AND she wants to do it somewhere else & take her brothers with her. SCORE! ALONE TIME!” So they collected their things, had me print out pictures of their choosing…. and then headed up to their granny and papa’s house. It was going to be a good afternoon.

Well, aside from them calling me to referee a situation about who could actually have an opinion about the project and who couldn’t (apparently when she said she wanted the boy’s help she meant, with things like cutting & gluing, you know the servant work. They needed to make their own if they wanted to make decisions about the appearance itself.), all went well and both her project and the boys (who ended up doing their own) were safely hidden away at in granny’s sewing room. I had to reflect on the smoothness of this little adventure. They did it all themselves, they came up with the idea all themselves (well, Addison did anyway) and they only called me to solve one problem which went pretty smooth as well. Mom win right there! It’s these easy-to-miss times when things actually are easier than they could be, yet work out to be amazing, that I realize all of the small & seemingly insignificant things that I have to be thankful for. ALL of these things relate back to my husband in some way or another.

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Sunday rolled around and at the wee hours of the morning, they gave him their gifts with proud smiles on their faces. He looked through each gift with a humble smile on his. He is a good father. He deserves more credit than anyone gives him. He genuinely loved the gifts and asked real questions about them. The kids were so proud they had worked together on both of them (sort-of) and he commented on how great the kids really were. Like I said, he is a good father.

I have come in contact with MANY good fathers in my life time, as well as many that are not. I can’t tell you that everyone looks the same because they don’t. Every family needs to have specific things in order to function well, therefore, every dad will do things a different way. I started to think about what connected all of these “good fathers” and I came up with this. They all have an INTENSE love for their children and they will do anything and everything to provide for them both physically & emotionally. Great qualities and definitely requirements for the title, but is that all that is needed to be a good father?

Good ol’ Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Right. So we need to give them all the rules, the expectations, the life-lessons about what it means to be a dad. Got it. That makes sense. But what is meant by “train up?” Does it stop at disciplining the child? Or at helping them learn from their mistakes & grow in maturity? No, I don’t think it does. Those are all IMPORTANT and necessary parts but I don’t think that’s where it stops. I think train up is more than just discipline, it’s example.

A friend posted this quote today (along with a great picture of her husband and the 3 kids!).

“He didn’t tell me how to live, he lived and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Kelland.

That’s it. A good father has to LIVE and let the kids WATCH him do it. He can’t just give them the ins and outs of how they should act and speak. He can’t just say and not do. As a matter of fact, it’s better if he DOES and doesn’t SAY at all!

My husband is a good father.

He loves me. He makes sure the kids see that. He makes sure they are aware of the respect that we have for each other and that we are a team. We put each other first and we work together in ALL that we do. He makes sure they know, there is no scurring around one to get to the other.

He read the bible with them. He sits down at night and reads a part of the bible that they choose. He lets them ask questions and goes through the answers with them. Sometimes it takes an hour. They learn more from this time than they ever will in church. (oh and PS – he uses his IPAD not a real bible…. GASP! It’s great because he can look up some of the answers to their questions on there too… crazy how you can do research on those things! Not only are they learning how to read the bible they are also learning how to study it too…..)

He is a true southern gentleman. No the kind that seems full of BS and fast talk, the kind that sits quietly, that opens the doors for others when he is not even walking through them. The kind that will drop everything to help someone ANYWHERE they are and NEVER has to be asked. He doesn’t wait for opportunity to serve others, he finds it. Because of this, I have a 15-year-old stepson who has started doing the same. It makes my heart smile.

He works hard. Daniel works hard. All the time. He works with his hands and he takes the time to talk to the kids about it. He encourages them to work hard too. This is a rare thing in our society now. People don’t work hard all that much anymore. We have to combat that tendency on a daily basis with our kids because of the other examples that they are exposed to in the world. Too many people just barley get by and all the kids see is that these people barely work and have a lot. Them knowing that Daniel is at work and know what he is doing at work is all the example they need.

He prioritizes. Before work each night, he facetimes with us all and speaks to everyone individually. He buys used cars and explains to them that having a new car with a huge car payment isn’t the smartest way to do things when you aren’t a millionaire. He shows them that yes, we can buy/do/go,  places/things but it may not be the best choice.

He loves the kids – He doesn’t just tell them he shows them. He doesn’t buy them everything they ask for, he spends time with them. He gives them what their souls need more than what their heads want. He takes our daughter on “dates” so she can not only have one on one time with him, but can see what a boy should treat her like. He’s always aware of which child needs some extra attention and he gives it without question. His action towards them gives the kids confidence and support and they FEEL loved.

He Puts Jesus First – Not such an easy thing to do today. He’s quick to say that they need to pray about things or that they need to be serving others and trying to be more of a “light” in the world. He verbalizes when he is being obedient to God in spite of the fact that he doesn’t feel like it. They believe what he says about life and about God because he shows them that it is right.

I could make a 10-page long list full of the reasons that I think my husband is a good father, but I think this is evidence enough. Thank you, Daniel Faulkner for putting our family second only to God  in your life. Thank you for being my true partner and best friend. Thank you for SHOWING our kids what’s right and what’s wrong. Thank you for giving them the tools they need to be people who are an asset to this world.  Thank you for all of your forgiveness and for your commitment to our marriage as well as our family. Thank you for being obedient to Jesus.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  

Thank you for investing in our children enough to TRAIN them not just tell them.

You deserve to get credit for the choices you make. Today the world will tell you that it’s enough to just love your kids and try to do what’s best, but I recognize that it is more than that. You recognize it too and for that, I am forever grateful for the partner God has blessed me with.



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