At Save the Storks, we often talk about motherhood and all that is required for the amazing role that moms fill, but we also love to celebrate the vital role of fathers. This Father’s Day, we wanted to share with you in a few things that we at Save the Storks have learned from our own fathers.
We honor those who have dedicated their lives to shape who we are. We are thankful for the men in our lives who sacrificed so much to teach and to cultivate in us the character that makes us who we are today.
What I learned from my Father:
There isn’t a moment I can think of when my dad did not display patience. In facing adversity as a full-time farmer, in dealing with hard situations overseas as a missionary, and in caring for the people in his community as a pastor, my dad has always reflected the Father’s heart of kind and compassionate love. His example taught me never to complain, but rather always to give thanks to the Lord who would work everything out for good. He lives each day in complete and total trust in the Lord, which empowers him to be patient in the midst of every trial.
A man’s capacity to love his children doesn’t just come from the way in which he became their father, but rather from the God who called him to fatherhood. My husband first became a dad to my oldest son at age 2 weeks. He became a father to our youngest daughter when she was 5 and a half years old. We have 3 biological children together. Watching the way he cares for each of our five children, one wouldn’t be able to distinguish between those who are biologically his and those who are not; a reflection of the love of the Father, his care for each of them knows no conditions.
I have learned many things from my father. One of the greatest things Dad has taught me is what generosity looks like. He always puts others before himself and his own needs. Whether he has had little or plenty, he’s constantly giving of his time to help others. His continual selfless giving has shown me what it means to fully live life while loving others. Love is an action – it isn’t about what we say, but about how we show it by how well we live and love others.
My dad is a humble man. He is quick to ask for forgiveness if he feels that he has offended someone; even when I was a kid he would do this. He does not seek the limelight but is happy to sit in the background and take a supportive role. He is a man of prayer, walking humbly with God in his effort to be a good husband and father. He’s a man of discretion and isn’t flashy in any singular moment; however, when one looks at him over the decades, his steady gentleness, humility, kindness, and faithfulness grow increasingly brighter over time.
My adopted dad, Robert Hornsby, grew up during the Depression in England and taught me the value of hard work. He was up at 4:30 am Monday – Friday (and often on weekends) to work as a plumber at construction sites around Southern California. I remember seeing him sick with the flu and he still went to work! My dad was a widower when I was only eight and my brother was 5, and being a single parent was certainly not the norm back in the 1970s/1980s, but he always had a positive attitude and never complained. Was he Mr. Mom? Not at all! I learned how to do laundry, cook, clean, shop for groceries, do yard work and help with the family finances when I was entering third grade. We shopped at thrift stores and garage sales for just about everything and I started saving money when I had my first part-time jobs. Today I find myself doing so many of the things dad taught me back when we didn’t have much, and I’m quite sure Dave Ramsey would approve. Happy Father’s Day to my dad, who will turn 94 next month.
I’ve loved watching my husband, Eric, be a father to our boys! Our oldest, Emerson, is so enamored with learning everything that Eric does, whether it be mowing the grass, building something, or making silly sounds. Watching the two of them has shown me just how important fatherhood is. Emerson is looking to his dad to show him whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable (Phil. 4:8). And Marshall, though he doesn’t understand everything he sees, looks at Eric with endless admiration nonetheless.
Parenting is so divinely designed that mother and father play such vastly different roles and teach such vastly different lessons. I love playing my part and watching Eric fit so perfectly into his.
My dad is one of the kindest people I know. He always treats everyone equally and with respect, no matter their position. He started with his current company when they had 30 employees, and now he’s the CIO with a couple of hundred software developers working under him. And yet, he hasn’t changed at all in the way that treats people. Anyone who works under him says he’s the best boss. I’m always so proud when I meet other people who work alongside him and I get to say that he’s my dad. They always have positive things to say.
My dad has also taught me the value of hard work. His job hasn’t always been easy, but he has stuck it out through some tough times and is now seeing the rewards. He’s helped me to see that I’m capable of more than I think I am. His resiliency has rubbed off on me and I’m so grateful for the work ethic he helped to develop.
Because my dad has always been in law enforcement, I have always seen him as a protector. He taught me what real safety and protection looks like: it isn’t just having physical tools of protection, but protection from spiritual attacks, protection of my heart, protection of my family from outside negativity. He has always been that protector in our family, and his display showed me what it should look like for me to protect my family and for my husband to protect our family. He also showed me that there are right and wrong ways to treat others and be treated. He showed me the difference between a right and a wrong way of standing up for myself, and the right and wrong way of supporting my family. Sometimes these lessons weren’t always obvious, but they were taught on a daily basis through his example. I also love that he is such a strong, tough guy, but he isn’t afraid to show emotion and he always makes people laugh.
Fatherhood is more than just being “dad.” It means being a guide, a protector, a support system, a voice. It means standing up when something isn’t right and defending the defenseless. Fatherhood goes beyond the biological facts–it means being someone who steps in and steps up for their family whether they are blood or not, as well as someone who stands up for the mother of those children
Thank you to all the fathers out there who are investing in the lives of your families.
Your impact truly does change lives and your life can leave a legacy that can impact nations.
Thank you for all that you do. Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Save the Storks!