I don’t think any of us realize how important our fathers are, until we move away from home. I’ve lived on my own for about three years, but always had close access to my father, until I moved out of state last September. Calling the family up has become sort of a habit for me (as well as mailing them a few letters each month), but I don’t always get to talk to my dad on a regular basis. Our best conversations have always been over a long truck-rides or even over a mutual silence, anyway. I was in my mid-teens, on a truck drive with dad, when he broke a particularly long pause with, “The good thing about fathers and sons, is that they can go for a ride in a truck, not say a word, and still know that they love each other.” It was true. To this day, I only have a few close friends who I can enjoy silence with, recognizing it as peace, rather than an awkward break in conversation.

Fathers have a special role in parenting- they’re bigger than life in their children’s eyes. I would wait hours for my dad to get home from work when I was a kid, trying on his boots and playing in his spare coat, all the while. When dad finally did get home, he spent time with us kids and taught us a lot of valuable lessons.

My Father Taught Me to Embrace Responsibility

It’s not just taking out the trash or owning up when you’ve done something wrong, it’s work ethic. Getting up out of bed instead of sleeping in, working instead of playing video games, investing in a future instead of spending for the now. Being responsible for yourself and for the well-being and best interest of those around you.

To Step Out Boldly in Faith

Men yearn for adventure. There is something inside a guy that pushes them towards it, drives them to create, fight and work hard. Somehow it manifests itself in chopping down trees, getting trucks stuck in corn fields and bow-hunting in the predawn dark. My father gave me enough room to grow, with enough guidance to grow in the right direction.

To Follow My Heavenly Father

If there is one thing that fathers shouldn’t teach, it’s Christ. Fathers need to model Christ to their children. They need to be tough and tender, know when to correct and when to extend grace. I owe great thanks to my earthly father for always pointing me towards my heavenly Father, for not replacing Christ, but showing me a clearer picture of who he is. Thanks, dad!