Do you have an irregular dad? I did. Most people assume that all dads are normal. Well, some are not normal according to the world’s standards.
My dad was always different from other dads. He didn’t like crowds, so he didn’t come to special events such as award ceremonies, sports competitions, or even graduation. He was a man of few words, never saying “congratulations,” “good job,” or “I love you.” But in my heart I knew he was proud of me and loved me. He just didn’t know how to express it.
When I became an adult I would take him out to eat or go fishing with him. I can still remember as if it were yesterday how his pants slid off while he walked, and how he’d click his false teeth in and out in public. I would mention to him that he should keep his teeth in place while we were out, but he couldn’t seem to control that habit.
The most challenging thing for me about my dad was that he smoked. He couldn’t stop, even for the duration of a single visit. I’m allergic to cigarette smoke, so this made visiting with him difficult because I couldn’t breathe. But I’d give anything in the world for those times, even if they were hard.
My kids didn’t get to know their grandpa. I wish they could have. He was schizophrenic, and his mind continued to deteriorate when they were young. He is gone now, but I think of him often. I miss him, clicking teeth, smoke, and all, because I loved him no matter how irregular he seemed.
Maybe your dad isn’t all this world says he should be either, but he is your dad. It’s time to honor him, even if his quirks make him everything you wish he wasn’t.
He may never know how to say “I love you” or show that he loves you, but you will be freed when you give him unconditional love. When his profound differences make you squirm, let God give you His wisdom to act and say the appropriate things, and you will reap what you sow—abundant blessing.
Your dad may never give you the approval you think you need, but the truth of the matter is that you only need God’s approval. So be filled with the joy of the Lord, and be free to bless your earthly father with love that never fails.