by Donna Marie Berger

Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Teach your children in the way they should go; and even when they are old they will not depart from it.” Today I would like to celebrate all the dads out there who give of themselves in so many ways on a daily basis as they raise their children.

In particular, I thank my husband, John for being a wonderful father. Thank you for always being there for the kids. Thank you for your strength and for keeping them – and us – safe and secure. Thank you for telling the kids that skinned knees would be okay and thank you for “fluffy eggs” on Sundays. Thank you for teaching them the importance of education and for encouraging the “big push” at the end of each semester. Thank you for making them laugh.

In 2002, our son Christian was eight years old when he wrote: “I like playing baseball…My dad is the head coach. He is a good coach and the kids like him. I love my dad and when I grow up I will always remember playing baseball with my dad.” Thank you for all your years of coaching both on and off the field and for teaching the kids the importance of doing their personal best as well as the importance of working together. Thank you for supporting them in all of their endeavors and for allowing them to learn on their own what works for them and what doesn’t.  Thank you for life lessons they will always remember.

In a recent Father’s Day card our daughter Meredith wrote: Thank you for family meetings, even though I maybe didn’t fully understand their importance until later in life. Thank you for supporting me, defending me, and always giving the best advice. From the time our presentation of Romeo & Juliet was cut short, and you lobbied our elementary school to reincorporate it, to the countless times you’ve helped me prepare for applications, presentations, interviews, and helped me to believe in myself. You’ve always put me on center stage, instilling confidence in me, and I’m forever grateful for that.

Thank you, John for loving, caring and sharing so passionately. Most of all, John, thank you for sharing your deep faith in the Lord, and for always stressing the importance of putting God first in the children’s lives. Thank you for showing them how to love God and neighbor. I am so very blessed to be standing alongside of you on this journey.

Happy Father’s Day to you, and to all the dads reading this today!

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