Well if I wrote a new entry for every H.O.F. dad I knew I'd be writing for months. So I'm wrapping it up today. I'm going to list some great dads that I know that I would write about if I had time, and then write about one more dad to close this out.
Here is my short list of Hall of Fame dads I know,
Bob DuHadaway, Poppa John Iorizzo, Ken Winward, Art Wilson, Mel Henry, Keith Wilson, Brian, Bobby, and Guy, Jim Wilson, Charlie Jones, Ed McGlasson, Harold Alexander,DAVE (birthday boy) LEWIS, Terry Chapman
The list could go on. What makes a H.O.F. dad? That's another list that could be pretty long, but I'll give you my personal top ten as I observed them at work in the lives of the great dads I've seen.
1: A Great Dad KNOWS HIS KIDS! Really knows them.
2: A Great Dad loves his kids for who and what they are. (see above)
3: A Great Dad reaches into the heart of each of his children and finds that one thing they were put here to become and to do...and then he does his very best to make that thing a reality with them.
4: A Great Dad loves the differences between each of his children instead of playing favorites. This is especially important in large families.
5: A Great Dad is generous with his praise and his praise is sincere. (see #1)
6: A Great Dad is his kids' biggest fan and most ardent supporter. If your dad believes in you...ANYTHING is possible.
7: A Great Dad isn't perfect...and he admits this. Kids really don't want to "hate" their dads for 30 years over some mistake they made when they were kids. They just want Dad to say, "you know...I was wrong. I'm sorry" That's IT! Grudges carry on for 40 years because parents won't admit they screw up too. Kids don't want blood, they want validation.
8: A Great Dad is always there...regardless of your age you never stop needing your dad from time to time. When you are little it's to show you how to ride a bike, throw a curve ball, check under the bed for monsters, or tell you that you are really a princess. When you get older, he is there for you to call when you are thinking about buying your first house, having your first child...or going through a really rough time. When nobody else believes in you anymore, your dad can still convince you that you are still capable of greatness.
9: A Great Dad is a good example. He is virtuous and has integrity, he is the man we all either want to be when we grow up or hope we marry...depending on gender of course. He loves God and we know it, if not because of his words, certainly because of his actions. He loves our mom, he loves our brothers and sisters, he has enough love in him to love one...or maybe more...of our friends who don't have the kind of great dad we do. (Thanks Bob and Pop)He is fair and honorable. He is smart and wise but doesn't flaunt it. He is a hero.
10: A Great Dad is the first earthly example we have of God. It's a fact. What we think of our dads, we think of God. That's why it's so important. That's why we divorced dads have to be extra careful and work at it extra hard. If our dads are distant and cold, we think God is, and so we don't approach Him easily in prayer or worship. If our Dad is self absorbed we think God is not an intimate part of our lives but rather a Chess Player in the sky, amusing Himself with our daily struggles.
If our dad is accessible and open, loving and heroic, warm and inviting, wise and good...we know who and what God truly is.
This turned into more than I thought it would and it's actually been somewhat emotional for me to write. What kind of dad are you, men? Divorced or not...young children or grown adults. How many of these characteristics do we possess? I know I have many to work on here. It's harder when one is divorced because our time is so limited. But it's not impossible. I'd love to hear from you dads who regularly read this blog. What points did I miss? What can we do to become great, Hall Of Fame dads?
I'll get to my final nominee tomorrow.