I recently saw this quote, "The only thing better than having you as my Dad is my children having you as their Papa" and instantly related to it. The way my dad looked at his grandchildren still captivates my heart today. That look of total tenderness and complete love still blesses me. I am blessed because I know my children have been impacted by his love as well.
My dad died in 2009, and although the only thing that separates us is time, I am grateful for the years I had with him this side of heaven, and the years my children had with him, although not long enough. His life and his love opened the door of my heart to an even greater love, the love of my Heavenly Father. I now know that all along what my dad was doing was allowing the love of God to flow through him to others. So for me, although my dad is not in front of me, the love he gave is because it was God's love all along. He left me with an inheritance that I intend to pass on to others daily, an inheritance of love.
I see that same look in my husband's eyes towards his children. It was that familiar look that prompted me to write this post. My husband's eyes were beaming with love just last night as he listened to our three year old explain how he slipped and got hurt. Our youngest never had a chance to meet his Papa, but he also is encountering that same love. Not only do my children have a daddy that is passing on that same inheritance, but there are others that carry that same look. It's God's love, and if you have encountered it, you know what I am talking about.
For any dad out there that dares read this mom blog, I want you to know that the very best gift you can give your children is to demonstrate the love of God to them. Maybe you never experienced God's love, maybe you had a terrible childhood, to you I would say to dig into the very heart of God and encounter the love that He is longing for you to receive. Then you will be able to pass it along to your children. It was never God's intention for a father to demonstrate anything other than unconditional love to his kids. Instead, it was always his plan for fathers to be an extension of His love to them.
Here is a sample of what God's love looks like. You can replace "Love" with "A Dad" to get a better understanding of the love I am talking about.
I Corinthians 13:4-7 "4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." (NLT)
As you allow this love to manifest through you, your children will be transformed! I am living proof!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I want to leave you with a few (women need to speak at least 20,000 words so I gathered enough pictures to speak that amount..hehe). Look into my dad's eyes and see the love of God flowing, then go to your children and do likewise. :) Papi, thank you for leading me to the love of God. I now understand that all along you were leading me to my Heavenly Father's unending love. I am secure in His love because of your example. Miss you, Papi!