Daddy was the first. The first one I loved unconditionally. I first one I loved unselfishly.
Other loves came and went. Some even came and stayed, like the precious love of my dear husband. But my love for Daddy was the first that was totally pure—void of bias and ulterior motive.
Every encounter, every memory of my daddy was one of tenderness and gentility. Even as a child, I was enraptured by his words, captivated by his laugh, and thrilled by his presence. And although I gave him many opportunities to be angry, I never felt his anger. I felt his hurt instead. I could see the disappointment in his eyes…and it broke my heart.
Daddy didn’t have to use anger to rule me. He had my devotion; and devotion was a much greater incentive to obey.
I know my daddy made many mistakes, some of which were life-changing for those around him. But he succeeded in one area of his life that was most important to him. I never questioned his love.
It was only after his death that I realized the purity, the simplicity, the uniqueness of that love. No angles, no checks and balances, no give and take…just give. And that’s what he did. He sacrificially gave his approval, his comfort, his encouragement, his love.
He’s been gone 18 years, yet his wise words still speak to me everyday. “Your husband is a rock, lean on him.” “Your children are your legacy, build them.” “Your grandmother was a saint, and you’re just like her.”
Daddy was wrong about one thing—I’m not a saint. But because of him, I am striving to reflect the love and gentleness of my Heavenly Father, the One Who loves me unconditionally, void of bias and ulterior motive. And even though He has a right to be angry with my sin and disobedience, He loves me with a pure and simple love. No angles, no checks and balances, no give and take…just give. And that’s what He did—His life for my sin.
I’ll never be able to fully understand the depth of God’s love for me, but because of Daddy, I’ve had an earthly glimpse into the nature of my Heavenly Father. I can believe He loves me beyond measure. I can believe He would take me in His arms and comfort me. I can believe He would die for me, because I know real daddies die for their children.
My daddy wasn’t perfect, I know that. But his unconditional love and sacrificial life pointed me to the One Who was and is exactly that…perfect. Because of my earthly daddy, I will never question my Heavenly Father’s love.
(Photo courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net)