This past Sunday marked our annual celebration of dads. Whether they are fathers or father-figures, men have an important role to play in shaping the lives of young people around them. Personally, I’ve had the privilege to be mentored by several admirable role models, starting with my own father, a decorated World War II veteran. He ignited within me a love for ideas and learning. I am a careful thinker today because I had a father who was truly an intellectual role model. Though he has been dead for nearly 25 years, I think of him almost daily and appreciate the important lessons he taught me about life.
Other role models in my life include a wide range of men, from the baseball coach who nicknamed me “Professor,” to spiritual mentors like Dr. Walter Martin.
As a parent of three children, I hope to be the role model for them that these men were to me. No matter what I achieve professionally, I will always consider my role as a father (and as a husband) the most important in my life. I hope this reflection about Father’s Day encourages other fathers (as well as mothers) to earnestly take on the critical task of being a role model for their children.
I’m grateful for my father and for the other father-like figures that have selflessly supported me in my life. Nevertheless, these earthly role models and mentors serve to make me aware that there is a heavenly Father whose providential grace has guided my entire life.