Dating was hard.
I remember trying to navigate those hormonally charged waters as a teenager and young adult. Back then, we left notes in lockers or passed them to each other in the hallway between classes. There was nothing like holding that specially folded note in my hand that had the little tab sticking out that said, “Pull Me”. I would read and reread that sappy note and then work on a response when I should have been learning algebra. That might explain why algebra was never my thing.
After the note-passing came the phone calls, on those corded phones with the clear base that had all the inner working showing through. Boy were those phones cool. I spent hours lying on my bed, feet on the wall, head hanging off the edge, talking to this new crush of mine on my cool little telephone. Who knows what we talked about; I can’t remember a word. But I do remember all the butterflies and excitement.
Finally, I was allowed to date. There was one guy I had been talking with a few months, and he asked me out. We double-dated with some friends and had a nice time, but there was something about really getting to know him in person that put a damper on the magic. Hiding behind notes and a phone, we enjoyed mystery and intrigue, but in person, he didn’t measure up.
The more we talked, the more I realized he wasn’t interested in God AT ALL. He wouldn’t even concede to come to youth group. He had no interest in his future education or making good grades. In fact, he didn’t even care if he graduated high school. All he wanted was to get his truck running and play basketball. This guy I had been googly-eyed over for so long was nothing like I wanted in a man. I guess my dad ruined me.
See, my dad has always worked hard to provide for us. He held a full-time job while he put himself through college. He has always taught us the value of working hard and giving every job we do our absolute best, as if working for the Lord and not for our earthly supervisors. College was never an option. It was expected, and he set us up for success in all we strived to do.
My dad also kept his Bible in his truck, and every morning before he went into work, he opened it and read a section of scripture. He’s been a faithful prayer warrior and leader in the church. Even when everyone else seemed to have lost direction, he remained true to God’s Word. Solid. Consistent. Immovable.
He has also loved my mom fiercely. Regularly, he grossed us kids out by kissing her in front of us and openly flirting with her just because. He made time for nights out and was kind in his actions towards her. Now, my dad is a prankster, too, so we had bunches of jokes and gags happening in the background, but my mom always got him back when he least expected it.
Dad emulated what a true man of God was supposed to look like. He modeled what a good father and husband should be. After living with him all those years, as I got serious about dating and looking for my future spouse, the bar was set high. That goofball I went on my first date with didn’t stand a chance, no matter how cute he may have been.
I’m grateful for my dad. It’s been wonderful watching him thrive in his new season of retirement with his large garden and country life he always wanted. He is still leading, serving, and setting an example in our church. Daily, he spends time with the Lord, and he has been doing a wonderful job loving my mom well.
It’s also been a joy watching him become Papa. My boys love playing games and spending time with him whenever we can, and it thrills my heart to know they can learn from his example just like I did.
There are plenty of good mamas in this world, but it seems that having a good daddy is a bit harder to find. I thank God often for blessing me with such a good man to be my father. It helped me pick a good guy to be my husband and made me unwilling to settle for anything less.
Thank you, Dad, for setting the bar so high, for showing me what a daddy ought to be. Thank you for displaying Christ in your everyday life, lighting the way, and pointing me to Christ. Thank you, Dad, for every sacrifice you made to make it all possible. I love you.
© Christy Bass Adams, June 2021
All pictures from Canva