We have just celebrated Father’s Day in Australia, and I was grateful I was able to spend time with my dad last Sunday. I understand there are many people who may not know their father, have trouble understanding their father, or may not even like their father. Despite that, I would like to encourage everyone reading this week’s blog, no matter what type of father you have, to be able to say, Thank you, Dad.

I feel very blessed to have the father that I have, and so honouring him, not just on Father’s Day but every day, is an easy thing for me to do. My dad is my favourite man in the world, and I love him with all my heart. My whole life he has been there for me, provided for me, supported me, encouraged me, forgiven me, laughed with me, cried with me, and now, as he moves towards 90 years of age, our bond is getting stronger by the day. For the man you are, for the example you have set for me, and for the things you do and have done for me, I say, thank you, dad.

My other favourite man is Dr Allan Meyer, in fact I may have a man-crush on him! I was privileged to hear him speak at my church last Sunday morning before going and having lunch with my dad. His whole message was to honour thy parents, and he was specifically talking about dads, as it was Father’s Day. He challenged people to focus on the strengths of their father, no matter what type of father he is or was. He encouraged the congregation to focus on the things they would thank him for when they next see him, or if the opportunity ever arose to face him.

As I stated, gratitude and love for my dad is easy, and eternal. However, I do understand it is not like that for everyone. There are people who have been consistently criticised and corrected by their father and have never felt good enough. If that’s you, what can you find to thank him for? There are people who feel abandoned by their father. If that’s you, what can you find to thank him for? There are people who have been abused emotionally, physically, and maybe even sexually by their father. If that’s you, what can you find to thank him for? There are people who have all sorts of reasons to be angry, resentful, bitter, even hateful towards their father. If that’s you, what can you find to thank him for?

It is important to recognise, we are all a product of our environment. We learn our behaviours from our parents and what was exampled to us? Without realising it or even wanting it to be the case, the generational impact of behaviour tends to manifest itself in our lives, just as it did in our father’s life. Could we be more understanding? Could we be more empathetic? Could we be more grateful for the person we have become because of our father? I want to encourage you to pick up the phone, send a message, go for a visit, or if he is not around anymore, send a prayer to say thanks to your dad.

You may be reading this thinking; I have nothing to be thankful for about my dad. If that is you,I would like to challenge you a little. Could you be thankful for your own existence? Without your dad, you wouldn’t be here. Could you be thankful for the positive character traits you have that he passed to you? Could you be thankful for the strength you developed in the process of overcoming the challenges you may have experienced as a child? Could you be thankful for just one little thing you learned from him that has had a positive impact in and on your life. Trust me, if you look for it, you will find it. Why not try it and say; Thank you, Dad.

In my podcast this week called, Role of love, Paul Zolman discusses how he negotiated and overcame the abuse and trauma he experienced as a child from his father, and was able to move out of hate, to forgiveness, and into love. It is a powerful conversation about making lives better.

The reality is that every one of us is human, and each one of us has stuff we must deal with. That being the case, could we have more empathy for others, especially Dad? I hope this blog has resonated with you, and helped you see that, no matter what type of father you have, there is always a reason to say; Thank you, Dad.