I was told at an early age that one should try to be a good man, not a great one. The irony of this statement is that by being a good man, one often becomes a great one. And one of my greatest blessings is having an example of this throughout my life: my father.
His presence in the lives of my sister and I, both in adolescence and continuing into adulthood, has been one of self-sacrifice. This seems simple when I think of how grateful I am for all the 4 AM wakeups he endured to drive me to hockey practice, tighten my ice skates, and sit in a cold rink with only a cup of coffee for warmth while I lived my dreams.
It gets harder, however, when I think of the opportunities my dad gave up to be close to my sister and I throughout our childhood. My parents are both lawyers too, and the opportunities presented to my dad for his talent in practicing law could have taken us around the country, even the world. Instead, he chose to work harder so that we could have stability in our growth, and so they could homeschool my sister and I and raise us to love God and His Word.
This doesn’t mean he was perfect—you can’t be a parent and expect your emotions not to get the better of you at times (often at the instigation of my sister and me!). But fatherhood is not about perfection—it’s about commitment. Even when my dad made mistakes as a dad, he chose the hard right over the easy wrong and simply continued to be the very best dad he could. That commitment to being present and persistent is the gift that keeps on giving to our family.
His enduring commitment to our family makes him a good dad—and by sticking to this commitment when it was hard, he became a great one. Beyond that, the magic of fatherhood is that good often begets good—his committed presence has given me a fighting chance to be a good man too.
To all the fathers who have sacrificed for their families, even when it was hard, we thank you this Father’s Day. Your heroic efforts bless your family and give the next generation the chance to do the same.
For those who don’t have a good model to follow, or who no longer have their fathers to celebrate, may our Heavenly Father be your guide and comfort. His fatherly love and care is more than sufficient.
We wish you a happy Father’s Day!
Public Policy Director