If my father ever had reservations about any of my dating relationships, he never let it show. He was always respectful, forever courteous and intentionally inclusive to every boy that walked through the doors of our house.
Would dad have defended me had I ever needed it? Absolutely. Would he have told me if he was incredibly worried about a situation? Probably.
But neither of those things happened. In fact, dad was not only respectful of my boyfriends, he was downright loving. He helped them fix their cars, learn algebra and get jobs. He prayed with them, ate with them and listened to their lives. He learned skills from them, earned respect from them and laughed a lot with them.
My father was kind of man he wanted my boyfriends to be to me.
Well played, dad. Well played.
I didn’t realize until later how much his inclusivity and loving response to those trying to date his daughter actually helped that very daughter…me. His acceptance of everyone was actually his way of respecting me and trusting in a power larger than himself. He laid down his own ego, his own control over the situation because he trusted me and God to take care of it. This only left room to simply love. His trust in my decisions then and now is steady. Constant. Never faltering.
Now that I am a parent, I can fully respect and understand how difficult it would be to trust your children to make their own choices. To succeed on their own and to fail on their own. All the while knowing and trusting that on the other side would be at least a lesson and at most a great a reward.
Dad listens one hundred times more than he advises. (I’m quite sure this is the key to his massively positive influence on most people.)
So have I always made the best decisions?
But did I make one giant, phenomenal decision by choosing and marrying the perfect partner for me? Absolutely and without any doubt.
So thank you, dad, for loving all of the boys and for trusting and teaching me with a beautiful heart. Your strong yet subtle influence helps me in so many ways, but most importantly it helped me choose Nate…a man who is turning out to be among the greatest fathers of all time. And a man who reflects our heavenly Father…just like you.
On this Father’s Day, cheers to the dads out there who don’t come to the door with a bat, but rather a heart full of patience, respect and love. Because only then will our daughters understand how to love and be fully loved.
Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
– John Mayer