Sunday, June 15, 2014

To Women on Father's Day

There really are good men in the world.
Men that are respectful and kind; men that have integrity and compassion.
I know because I am married to one.
He didn’t just appear. He wasn’t the object of a wish on a star. He didn’t fall out of the sky or pop out of a magic lamp. He wasn’t even born that way.
He learned how to be a good man from his mother, his father, his family, his friends, his teachers, and his faith.
He is a good man because he chooses to be. He was taught that actions have consequences that go much deeper than just “getting caught.” He learned that making bad choices not only affected his life but also those around him. Good relationships with family and friends were important. He treated his parents with respect and saw the value of education.
He wasn't the most suave person that I had ever dated.  He wasn't the most polished.  He was good-looking but not "my type."  In fact, I never intended to fall in love with him at all.
He was, however, the kindest person that I had ever dated. He was gentle and attentive but still masculine and strong. Superficial considerations quickly faded away and genuine love filled my heart.The honest truth is that I hadn’t realized until that time that I didn't know what real love was.
So many women settle for just OK or make excuses for the men that we think that we love. We tell ourselves that he will change. We excuse a man’s actions because he was mad, or drunk, or tired, or stressed, or whatever. We find fault in ourselves for his actions: “maybe if I hadn’t raised my voice” or “I should have been quiet” or “I should have worn something different.”
I firmly believe that love is a verb. It is an action and a choice. When you love someone you choose to do things that encourage, uplift and strengthen another person.
The opposite, my dear women, is not love.
Choose the man that treats you well.
Choose the man that respects the people around him, regardless of whether or not he likes them.
Choose the man that picks you up when you fall and kisses you gently at night.
This is the man that will make a good father.
This is the man that will raise children that will be good adults.
This is the man that won’t see your fat and wrinkles because he accepts you for your love.
I guarantee that there are many of them left out there. If you think they are scarce, you just don’t know where to look.
They aren’t the ones that start hitting on you at 2am when the bar closes.
They aren’t the ones that have the word “player” tattooed on their necks.
And they certainly aren’t the ones that lay a hand on you when they lose control.
Look for the ones that are kind to animals.
Look for the ones that love their mother and help their grandfather up from a chair.
Look for the ones that pay attention to you and what you are saying rather than the waitress or your cleavage when you go out.
Don’t look for perfection, though. They fart in public and wear stained t-shirt just like the others.
The best way to find a good man is to be the kind of woman that deserves respect and settles for nothing less. You will never find a man that respects you if you don’t respect yourself.
Happy Father’s Day to my husband, the love of my life, and the father to our three daughters. My greatest hope is that they one day will find someone that loves them as completely as you have loved me.
And Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there that teach their children to love and to be kind. It’s not easy but you are making the world a better place – one life at a time.
And blessings to all of the women that encourage fathers to be the men that their families need them to be.

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