I BELIEVE that my dad is one of the very best "girl dads" around. You see, I am a true Daddy's girl, and when it comes to Father's Day I have a lot of great memories. One of my favorite Father's Day memories happened when I was quite young. My dad was the crusade director for my grandfather, Kenneth E. Hagin, so my family traveled with him a lot. This particular Father's Day we were all in South Africa.
My dad had to preach the next morning and was trying to get some sleep. Because of the time change, my brother and I were awake; so I said, "Bubby, let's go get Mom and see if she's awake, too." As it turns out, all three of us were awake. When I told my mom we couldn't sleep, she said, "Tomorrow is Father's Day, and we don't have any cards. Why don't we write Father's Day notes for your dad?" There was no electricity where we were staying, so she lit a bunch of candles, and we stayed up writing notes until 2 a.m. We gave him those notes that Father's Day and when I think about him still having them today it reminds me how it is important to celebrate in whatever way that you can. Those notes were special to him!
My notes are still special to him. As an adult, I like to stop in my dad's office just to say hi. If he's not in his office or if he's out of town, I always leave a note for him. One day I noticed he had a stack of all the notes I've left him! He saved every one of them. So, even though that may seem like something simple to some, it has become our "thing"– and it means a lot to both of us.
I love being with my dad. I can remember being a very little girl and always wanting to be where my dad was. Because we did travel a lot, I was in many unfamiliar places. I would always hold my dad's hand because that's where I felt really safe and secure.
While my mom definitely takes on the role of best friend, I would say that my dad is my hero. He's my constant. He's my protector. When the chips are down, he's always there and has my best interests at heart.
Even in difficult times, he'd always say, "Hey, Denise, I love you. No matter what you do, I love you and I'm here for you." To me, that is such an example of our Father God's unconditional love for us. My dad is such a caring person. As a result, I was never afraid to tell him anything!
I've seen these character traits in him as a pastor and leader as well. He creates an environment that is so loving, caring, and supportive that I (or anyone) can go to him without fear. And just like God might say to any one of us, he will say, "You know what? I love you. We're going to get through this. I'm going to help you."
Today I am a strong person. I credit that to my dad. He knew how to be soft when he needed to be soft, but also how to develop strength in me. The reason I have said my dad is the best "girl dad" is because he helped make me strong and tough, while allowing me to feel special and be a "girly girl." I am so thankful he had the foresight to know that life is tough and when you get knocked down, you have to be strong. He always taught me, even as a little girl, how to get back up, be strong, and dig in.
The voice that will be eternally in my head, long after my dad goes to be with Jesus, is him saying, "Baby, you cannot be defeated, and you will not quit. With God and you, you can do anything you want to do and be anything you want to be." I love you, Dad!
It's essential that fathers realize how important they are! Christian dads have a responsibility to be a reflection of the Heavenly Father. Dads will shape how their children view their Father God. It's important that God is represented well!
Faith in Action
For those who might be struggling with the thought of having a good father figure, be encouraged. God knows how you grew up and longs to show you what a loving father can and should be in your life. Pray this prayer, "God, I didn't have the greatest example for a dad. Please be close to me, and show me how a father's love is supposed to be." It's as simple as that. God will honor your prayer and the Holy Spirit can heal the hurt and fill that void.
Denise Hagin Burns
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