I remember when I was in high school, my dad had an extremely worn down pair of church shoes. It was clear that the bottoms had tread a lot of ground, and they were reaching the end of their time.
They were clean, well polished and cared for.
They reflected a life of service and love: Long hours helping others, visiting those who had special needs, and assisting people in our church congregation whenever he was called.
I'm not quite sure how I got so lucky, but I was blessed with an amazing father.
Throughout my life he has taught me what qualities every father should have through his diligent example of love and service. He understands that the dad job is more than just a part time gig or temporary fling - it's a lifelong commitment of dedicated service. Here are some of the important roles he characterizes:
Fathers make it their responsibility to take care of the family. My dad always did everything he could to make sure that our family had our needs met. Real men understand that supporting your family doesn't mean you have to be rich. Sometimes that means sacrificing your own personal wants to invest in your child's future. No, we didn't have the fanciest car on the street, but we did have everything we needed, and I never had to worry about finances.
Fathers lead their home in a way that would be pleasing to God. They take the lead to call everyone together for family councils. It means that they care for their wives and they are aware of their children's emotional needs. I loved that my dad called us together to say prayers and read the scriptures. He was the leader of our family, working hand in hand with my mother. My father was someone that I could look to for help and look up to as an example.
Fathers may know how to get rid of the monsters under the bed, but they also know about the dangers outside the home that could be detrimental to their children. They make it a point to teach their children how to avoid pornography and addiction, how to make good friends and stay away from strangers. They are the ones who grab the baseball bat when there are weird bumps during the night, and they are the last one out of the house when the fire alarm goes off. I appreciate all the time my dad took to teach us and to keep us safe. Our home was always a place where I felt protected, accepted and loved.