When I was a little girl, I made my Daddy the hero of all my stories. I am not sure why this sticks in my mind, but when I was small I was tempted to lie to a girl and tell her my Daddy could lift our car with his pinky finger. Most little ones feel their Daddy is big, strong and fearless and crave his attention, guidance and teaching. But somewhere between toddler and teenager, that attitude takes a dramatic shift. “Father knows best” is downgraded to “Father knows less”.
For the average teen, they want less attention from parents, guidance only when they ask for it and they don’t need dear old Dad’s lessons because they already know everything. What happened to all that adoration and praise? Autonomy. Teens want to self-govern, be the master of their own destiny, take on the world alone…along with their 7,015 Snapchat friends. But Dads who feel like they went from hero to villain in thirteen short years can probably remember being the same way in their own childhood.
The separation that occurs between teens and their Fathers also happens with our heavenly Father. Our childlike faith can quickly turn to a similar rebellious nature. We think we know what is best for us, we don’t see the value in spending time with our heavenly Father and often we refuse to listen to His guidance until we have exhausted all our other options. God becomes a last resort whom we go to with a reluctant sigh. Sound familiar Dads? We don’t even want to want our Father. But each time we run to him, he is the same. We can have confidence that he is unchanging. “For I the Lord do not change” Malachi 3:6. “He is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8.
I want to say thank you to a very special breed of Dads this Father’s Day, Dad’s who do not change. Dads who understand that children may say and do things that are unloving, still they love. Dads who give their kids room to make mistakes, but are still there to help get them back on track. Dads who are patient when their kid turns down their invitation, but then jumps at the chance when it is their child’s idea. Dads who are confident that their consistency is the most valuable thing they can be to their inconsistent child. Those Dads who will never leave or forsake their children have taken on one of the most loving characteristics of our heavenly Father.
The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to just show up. We may not always be at peak performance as a Dad, on the job or wherever we are called to be, but showing up is key. Showing up says I know there are people depending on me and what I have to offer. So Happy Father’s Day to all those Fathers who are showing up every day despite whether you feel needed or not. Let me assure you, you are still the hero of your child’s story even if their narrative is changing. And no matter what age your child is, Father Knows Best.