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What Is a Father?

picture of father hands and baby feet

In honor of Father's Day this coming Sunday, I am posting a piece by Paul Harvey that I found in my files.

What Is a Father?

A father is a person who is forced to endure childbirth without an anesthetic. He growls when he feels good and laughs very loud when he is scared half-to-death.

A father never feels entirely worthy of the worship in a child's eyes. He is never quite the hero his daughter thinks. Never quite the man his son believes him to be. And this worries him sometimes. (So he works too hard to try to smooth the rough places in the road of those of his own who will follow him.)

A father is a person who goes to war sometimes...and would run the other way, except that war is part of an important job in his life (which is making the world better for his child than it has been for him).

Fathers grow older faster than other people, because they, in other wars, have to stand at the train station and wave goodbye to the uniform that climbs on board. And, while mothers cry where it shows, fathers stand and beam ... outside ... and die inside.

Fathers are men who give daughters away to other men who aren't nearly good enough, so that they can have children that are smarter than anybody's.

Fathers fight dragons almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast table off to the arena, which is sometimes called an office or a workshop. There they tackle the dragon with three heads — Weariness, Work, and Monotony. And they never quite win the fight, but they never give up.

Knights in shining armor; fathers in shiny trousers. There's little difference as they march away each workday.


I trust that you will be able to honor your father, either in person or as you share with others what's in your memory about your dad. Maybe you'd like to pay tribute to your dad in the comments.

I hope you dads out there will be a blessing to your families and that you will be blessed by your families.

I'll close with a cartoon I found online that made me smile.

cartoon about dads


"Well, my dad's stronger than your mom." - Derek Adams to Mark Loach

=^..^= =^..^=

By the time a man realizes that his father was usually right, he has a son who thinks he's usually wrong.

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4 Comments on “What Is a Father?”

  1. #1 Michael
    on Jun 14th, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Thank you for these thoughts. Things like this are having much more of an effect on me since I will hopefully be a father in a few months.

  2. #2 Carrie
    on Jun 14th, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    I love it! The cartoon is exceptional. As I read the post, I realized that although I have been patting myself on the back for helping my children choose a Fathers Day card for their dad, I neglected to get one for my own! Yikes.

  3. #3 Diane Heeney
    on Jun 15th, 2010 at 12:32 am

    I thank the Lord for my Dad…who was, and always will be, my hero. I miss him.

  4. #4 Lynne
    on Jun 17th, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I enjoyed this “Father’s Day” post very much. Thank you for the insights into fatherhood that are so uplifting!