Dec 19, 2011

Big Big House

As the Lord has blessed our house with four sons, I’ve had the privilege of becoming friends with many of the young ladies who’ve come through our doors.  At some point today, jump over to my Follow Illustrated post today and get the background on one young lady who is now a resident in our home – my wonderful daughter-in-love, Tiffany.

Tiffany is a whole, healthy, and happy person – but she shouldn’t be.  When she was twelve, divorce quaked her home in half.  Through an indelicate process, Tiffany wound up with her father; her ten year old sister going with Mom.  I don’t know the man, but he was nothing of a father to Tiffany.  I’ll leave it at that.  By the power of her faith and God’s excellent grace, Tiffany survived that chapter of her life and now a new chapter as wife and daughter-in-love has begun.  I think about her young life often.  Seeing the world through the broken lens of her father must have caused wounds and misgivings about life.  Since the kids have moved in, I have also come to a stunning realization – I now stand as a father for her.

As we move about in this world, Tiffany is looking to me to encourage her with wisdom and compassion.  Her eyes are measuring my qualities as a husband and father and she’s creating a new template of what to expect from her husband and the father of her children.  On the whole, I feel that I have been a good father to the boys who grew up in my home.  Now, I get to give Tiffany something she never really had – a dad.  In the Old Testament, God worded a promise this way, “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.” (Joel 2:25)  I’m patching huge tears in a fabric that only a father can weave.  I’m humbled.  I’m honored.

Other boys have brought young ladies through our home.  I make it a point to get to know them personally; not just as my sons’ friends, but as MY friends.  Several of the girls have been like Tiffany, beautiful souls lacking a dad.  Recently, I was online writing some encouraging words to one of these friends.  I hadn’t seen her in a while and I wanted her to know I thought of her and treasured her.  She wrote back to me, “You are the father I wish I had.”  It is difficult to find the words to express the compassion and sorrow I feel for her.  I also feel an overwhelming burden to open the doors of my home and heart to give this beautiful soul a reference point, so to speak, of what a loving father, loving home can look like.

All I know is a big ole house
With rooms for everyone
All I know is lots a land
Where we can play and run
All I know is you need love
And I've got a family
All I know is you’re all alone
So why not come with me?
Come and go with me
To my father’s house
                 Big House / Audio Adrenaline (see video here)
Dads, we cut a big swath through this world.  Our reach is far greater than our wives and children.  If you have the opportunity – and I believe we all do – please consider who you can encourage, who you can nurture with wisdom and compassion.  The locusts are out there in other homes, eating the hope and courage out of children who lack dads.  #ManUp.  Seize the opportunity.  Be the dad.  Trust me: It’s Good To Be The Dad.

Clark H Smith