Modern-Day Superheroes: Dads

I love superhero movies. Warrior Man and I went and saw the new X-Men movie last week. And as we sat in the crowded theater, munching away at our popcorn, and sipping ice cold pink lemonade, I found myself getting sucked into the action, the daring exploits, and the moral lessons that were all encompassed within the film. Spiderman, Superman, and Iron Man are my favorites. These movies always have Christ-like parallels that emerge throughout the movie–the one man sacrificing, and saving humanity. And I love the basic framework of the storyline–the one moral individual who is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, and trying to maintain healthy relationships all at the same time. A tough job to be sure. Saving the world is all well and good, but superheroes must also keep their girlfriends happy, their aunts safe, and their day-job humming. In short, they are the ultimate multi-taskers. The world often sees these superheroes as being normal, nerdy, sub-par individuals. But they maintain this identity all so that they can go out, and save those same snob-nosed citizens from the evil that surrounds them all. They have humility, strength, and complexity that belie the average person.

Every time after a film, between the movie theater and my car, I often rhapsodize about if only I lived in a world with a Spiderman, or Iron Man, or Captain America. But I have come to realize that I do live in that world. There are superheroes out there. And, in fact, closer than any of us might think. They are just hidden, and called by the obscure, and common title of “Dad”.

dad

Fathers in our culture do not generally get much positive attention. It does not take long in our culture to see that one of the sad side-effects of feminism is that men are demeaned daily. It just takes a quick look at the comic strips to see that most of the father characters are lazy, dumb, or oblivious to the needs of those around them. Just like superheroes, these men in the real world are quietly living there lives in service of their families with very little praise. And that needs to be remedied more than just once a year on a holiday devoted to them.

Dads are so very important because they help or hamper our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I have watched people who have had wounds inflicted on them by their fathers {physical or emotional} grapple with who God is because of that. God calls Himself our Father. It is so much harder for someone who has not had a good, gracious, and gentle father figure in their life to see who God is.

My Dad is great with babies. Particularly grandbabies. Photo Cred: Sonia Miller.
My Dad is great with babies. Particularly grandbabies. Photo Cred: Sonia Miller.

Dad are so crucial because it is initially from them that we discover our identity: beloved or looked over, success or failure, cherished or a mistake. Any wounds inflicted by a father can be overcome through the grace of God, but how much better it is not to have to fight that battle.

Best parents ever.
Best parents ever.

My Dad is the greatest. He is a marriage therapist, and so none of us kids really know what he does every day {just like a superhero}. Every day of our growing up years he would leave for work, and when he got home he could not talk about his day. For all we knew he had to duck into the nearest closet, and take off his cape before he came home, and re-curl the loop of hair on his forehead {Clark Kent, anyone?}. My Dad is tough, gentle, and funny. He is great with little kids, as well as adults. He is never too busy to listen to the woes of his eldest daughter, or his youngest one for that matter. He has supported us, encouraged us, and been there for us one hundred percent of the time.

So on this day of all days–I want to say thank you to Mom for picking such a great guy, and thank you to Dad for being the Superhero in the house. Love you.

And I want to raise my glass of sparkling grape juice to all you other great fathers out there. I know you are many. I know you are often unnoticed. Thank you for the sacrifices, and the quiet devotion. We ladies see that more than you know. Enjoy your day.

 

 

 

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