It’s not infrequent I speak with people who are impatient with themselves, even harsh and unforgiving. With more conversation, I typically find they struggle with their own value and often feel unworthy of praise or love. Usually, I hear something like, “I don’t know how to change the way I feel about myself.” This is a hard place to live and often full of shame.
If the person I’m speaking with is a parent, my response is always the same. “What makes your kids worthy of your love and attention?” It’s an instant, even visceral, connection for them. We love our children because they’re ours – they’re family. Their value is not rooted in what they do, but who they are.
Father’s Day is a reminder for me of how much I’m loved and valued, not because my girls share sweet and silly sentiments with me in store bought or handmade cards, but because I’ve come to understand if I love them for who they are, regardless of what they do, I’m loveable as well.
I believe we’re all hard-wired for relationships and family – however you define them. It’s in the deep and unexplainable love we have for others that we can begin to understand the infinite Divine love and patience always present for us.
Being a father of five girls has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in life – and my greatest joy! I’ve never spoken with a parent who feels differently. This kind of deep and unconditional love we have for family, especially our children reveals a universal truth about the value of every human being – we’re loveable because we belong to someone else.
This Father’s Day when I’m swimming at the lake, eating good food, and laughing with my girls, I’ll be reminded my value doesn’t come from what I do at Tyson Foods or the measure of my earthly possessions, but that I belong to Nancy, Hannah, Julia, Clare, Audrey, Claire, and most of all, God. All of these have seen me at my best and my worst, but still they love me because we belong to one another.