Last week, I wrote about my Dad. He is awesome. I am truly blessed to have such a great father with whom I am so close. But over the last two and a half years, I have learned that I am doubly blessed. Not only do I have a great father, but I also have the privilege of having a godly man as my father-in-law!
Any husband in the world ought to be able to clearly articulate the impact his father-in-law has on his wife, and by extension,his marriage. To put it bluntly, the husband who seeks to cherish and nurture a wife who stuggles with deep-seated daddy issues faces a monumental task and, most likely, a lifetime of frustration. In Peter’s first letter, he explains that a woman’s identity should come from who she is in Christ, not her outward appearance:
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV)
Very often, when a woman has grown up in a home in which she has not received love and affection from her earthly father, she spends her energy nurturing her outer appearance and seeking acceptance from others based on her looks. Because she did not have the joy of being raised by a father who demonstrated the love of the heavenly Father, she often feels that a void has been left in her life, which she then seeks to fill. Peter stated that the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” is “very precious” in God’s sight. The secure daughter feels love and affection from her father, who demonstrates God’s love for her. This leads to a secure identity in Christ and, later, a desire to be cherished and to be found as precious by her husband.
I am so very blessed to have married a woman who was raised by a man who demonstrated God’s love and affection for His kids in his own daughters’ lives. Gary Hunter is a man who loves his two little girls, provides for them at all costs, and always sought to build for them the security of having a daddy who loves them for who they are and who are precious in his sight. Now, because of the love demonstrated by her father, Carmen knows what it means to be cherished and loved by a godly husband. To be honest, there are days when I am intimidated by the precedent of love set for Carmen by her father and wonder whether I can ever compete. But I am not to compete; I am to cherish. I am blessed to have married a woman secure in who she is in Christ. And I can say with absolute confidence that much of this security in Christ came as a result of her feeling secure in her relationship with her earthly daddy. So, thank you, Gary, for setting my marriage up for success by loving your daughter in such a way that she finds her worth in Christ, not us.
But my blessings regarding fathers are still not done. Since I began to get to know the Hunter family five years ago, I have had the great joy of growing into deep relationship with them. Many joke derogatorily about their in-laws. I cannot relate in the slightest. I am blessed to have the best relationship with my in-laws of anyone I know. We genuinely enjoy each other. I can honestly say that I now count my father-in-law as one of my dearest friends and even as a second dad! He is always there for my wife and I, but is careful never to overstep my authority in my home. He offers advice and resources freely, with no expectations in return. He loves his girls, and has committed to love me as the son he never had. He challenges me to eating contests (he almost always wins), takes me out for fun activities, watches movies and listens to music with me, and is always ready to show me the latest Apple gadget.
I am truly blessed to have married a wife with such a great dad. He is my father-in-law, my friend, and another example of an excellent father figure in my life.
Happy Father’s Day, Padre!