First off, a very Happy Father’s Day to my Dad who is one of my regular readers. If any of y’all notice, I use a capital “D” for Dad when I speak about him instead of “dad” when I refer to other generic dads. He earned this capitalization and respect and it is a very small way I can show that.

I also wanted to quote myself from a blog post from almost 5 years ago. I was giving thanks to those who helped me during the Hurricane Katrina Mission Trip and he was a key contributor to my success on that trip.

A huge thank you to my Dad who taught me the skills I used heavily while down there. Who woulda thought many years ago that at age seven, hauling brick in the Texas heat would give me the work ethic to work through the Mississippi heat and humidity. And from there every skill — carpentry, masonry, tiling, flooring, mechanical, problem solving to name a few — has been used extensively. I thank my Dad for sharing these skills with me throughout my life so I could leverage them for a positive impact last week.

And, as you can see, his contribution was decades earlier. And it went beyond the mere trade skills that I employed. It also included values like persistence, sacrifice, charity, and community. That is our investment in our kids; our children; our next generation. That pouring into our children of ourselves doesn’t happen haphazardly or spontaneously or at the last minute or come to think of it. It is deliberate, consistent, loving guidance that is there day in and day out, on good days and on bad days, when the sun is shining and when the clouds are dark. That is the only way to establish character into our offspring.

So on this 2011 Father’s Day, I want to say a special thank you and recognize all the men out there who make the tough decisions for the family. Men who are the spiritual leaders of their household. Men who love their wives solely and whole-ly in sickness and in health. Men who fight the good fight. Fathers who fail in parenting but who also get back up, shake the dust off and get back on the horse. Men who can change the oil at one moment and swing on a swing with the kids the next. Who can build a fence or a house in the morning and build a relationship with a loved one in the afternoon. Who can fix a lawnmower or a broken toy and also fix a hurting heart. A man who can “man up” to a mistake as quickly as a challenge.

Luckily, I have many examples of these within my own circle — at work, at church, in the neighborhood, in my family, and in my social network. We need more of them because they are not widely publicized. They usually aren’t in the paper, they don’t end up on the evening news, they aren’t on a reality TV show, the media doesn’t highlight them, and they probably don’t run for office. They are behind the scenes giants that quietly focus on God, family and community while living their day to day lives. These are the real men, dads, and husbands that this holiday is celebrating.

And while we are at it, we should all be praising our Father in heaven. He is the reason we are all here, whether you want to believe or admit that or not. He is the perfect, loving Father we should all be modeling.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net