(Step) Father’s Day
By Luann Prater

“…’honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'.” Matthew 19:19 (NIV)

“BUS!” he cried. Every morning was the same routine. The kids would poke at their breakfast, take forever in the bathroom, then struggle to find their book bags. Of course one sock would be on and the other not when my husband would hear the rattle of the big yellow bus coming to a stop at the end of our driveway. The doors screeched as they opened, then the familiar cry would bounce off the walls announcing time was up.

My husband came into their lives during these middle school years of frantic mornings. And quite frankly, he wondered if anything he tried to say or do for them was sinking in at all.

Today I found confirmation that his efforts were noticed and appreciated. I came across a card my daughter gave her step-dad at Father’s Day after her senior year. She wrote:

“I was thinking about it, and there is a difference between Dad and Step-dad. A Dad just is. It’s Dad. But the word Step is one of those polite substitutes for what it truly is: a LEAP; a PLUNGE; a FREEFALL on to the side of an unknown mountain, knowing no matter where you land on it – you MUST climb and fair the weather along the way if you want to reach the top.

The Step – much like the jagged blender blades which create the blended family – is what it takes to bridge the chasm from your heart to mine. And you took that Step, that Leap, that Plunge. I cannot thank you enough. You stand by me. You listen – really listen. And perhaps what most impresses me is that you opened your arms to me – from the first day we met. You were willing to love me, and hold me. For once I could be held by a man and trust, to feel SAFE.

I cannot thank you enough…for being a father to me…my incredible Step-dad. I love you, Tiffany.”

I know it must have warmed his soul to receive that celebration and confirmation.

The Greek word in the Bible for father is “pater” which means: one who has infused his own spirit into others, who actuates and governs their minds; one who stands in a father's place and looks after another in a paternal way. Much like Joseph did with Jesus, there are many men who are privileged to step into the role of becoming a father through marriage.

Let’s celebrate all the dads who, like our Heavenly Father, selflessly infuse their own spirit into the lives of others. Is there someone in your life that fills that father role – thank him today.

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the example of what a father should be. Thank you for being a father to me. Bless the fathers in my life and around the world today who are looking after others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture by Mary E. DeMuth

Do You Know Jesus?

Visit Luann’s Blog

Application Steps:
Think of some step-parents you know who have shown God’s love to their families. Send them a note of thanks for allowing the Spirit to work through them.

What family may need my prayers today?

How do I infuse God’s spirit into other young lives?

Who in my world needs the Father?

Power Verses:
Matthew 15:4, “For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’” (NIV)

John 13:15, “I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (NIV)

1 Peter 2:17, “Show proper respect to everyone. Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the King.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.


Blogger Unknown said...

My husband has "stepped" up as well. My son was four when we met, and he has gone above and beyond to be a "real" father to him. He loves him just like the two boys we have since had together. God certainly blessed me (and my son!) when he gave me Jeff!

Happy Father's Day!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved your message on this. I'm a step mother and my husband is a step father. We blended our family of 5 daughters through marriage in December 1991. He has been the most wonderful father to my daughters. I know I've been the mother his girls didn't experience previously but am still to hear that from them - maybe never. Their mother is still on the scene but in the background and occasionally involved in their lives. However my husband continually affirms me in my role to his daughters and I know how my own daughters feel as they often tell me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In whatever capacity we find ourselves we must be ready to influence the lives we relate with positively.

Either as father, step father, sister, brother or whatever relationship existing between us the love of God should be in our heart as Christian.

The uppermost desire in our heart should be that we have positive effect on others. If we always have this in our heart this world will be a better place to live in.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are so many blended families out there. It is neat when someone in leadership speaks openly about it and how we can all share our own pesonal blended experiences. My family has been blended for over 8 years and we still have people coming up to us and saying how our family (and how we came to be) is an encouragement to them. I give all the glory to God as He is the Author and Finisher of our love story. Yes, blended families have tough times, and we sure have, but so do "normal" families. I thank God this Father's Day and every day for my loving hubby and daddy to all four of our children. Be blessed blended/step families out there! Don't ever be ashamed or afraid to give your testimony as God desires all of us to help others going through the same issues we did. God is our hope and the lifter of our heads. I am finally writing about the topic of blended families in my writing ministry, Heartwarming Publications, now that I have stopped seeing it as a negative thing in my own life, and started realizing that God makes all things new and beautiful in His time. He allows things to happen to us for a reason, and so that we can share with others those things that have helped us, giving others hope and encouragement. Please visit me at my website www.heartwarmingpublications.com
Be blessed!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luann girl - your words are perfect for today. It's so true that step parents (in whatever shape or form they come in) take that giant leap as your daughter so aptly put it. I am blessed and encouraged in the Lord through this tonight. May we all take that plunge and seek to make a difference in the life of our children (genetic and otherwise) trusting that the words we say and the actions we make will have a positive impact whether they are acknowledged or not... makes me stop and think, "Father God - what haven't I noticed that you did today" too... For my Father and my father I am truly thankful!

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