Some dads are the coolest guys on the planet. Others, well ... maybe not so much. But hey, for purposes of this Father’s Day, let’s do a little reflection on the cool guys.
I have a buddy of mine whose dad is brilliant and a great pastor. The dad is about 75 years old, and he wears red socks with highwater plaid pants, no match anywhere. Not sure he really has found a fashion consultant. But who cares? He looks nerdy, but that’s what gives the old boy a little character.
Think about it. Having a dad with a quirk or two makes life fun. Do you really want a guy who is so straight and perfect he’s untouchable? Of course you don’t. So, enjoy the dad God gave you.
As a caveat, please know that not all guys have great dads or even cool ones. Sometimes the father/son relationship is one of the more strained inside a family. For whatever reason, dads and sons can unfortunately disconnect. If that is you, then to state the obvious, let’s pray that reconciliation can happen. I know you are. For guys who are blessed to have a good-to-great dad, take about 12 seconds right now to pray for the other guys. Believe me, they will be grateful.
Now let’s think about the issue of coolness and dads. When you were a little kid, your dad may have been able to hang the moon. He was the coolest ever. They learn how to do that in Cool Dad 101. He could even fix things you broke or at least make you believe he did. And certainly, when it came to the main thing, your dad could beat up the other kid’s dad, a measure of real coolness!
Cool dads have fun with their sons. They even help you get away with things Mom would find reprehensible. Sometimes moms are a little short on understanding the frivolous side of life. Oftentimes, Dad is willing to be riskier with the kids. Did your dad ever throw you in the water to learn how to swim? And if so, how did Mom respond? You’re reading this, so you must have lived to tell about it.
Did your dad teach you how to dress cool when you hit your man-in-the-making teenage years, or did he wear red socks and highwater plaid pants too?
What about the business of learning about girls? I remember the day my dad told me to use the radio station call letters KPIP when the kissing started. Good advice. Served me well! (You’ll figure it out!)
A lot of times it is fun to think about the nerdy things our dads did. Was he clumsy? Was he mechanical or not? Could he sing? Maybe just in the shower?
Of course, while in junior high and sometimes high school, being with a parent ranked right up there with a near-death experience for some kids. With my son and daughter, my wife and I told them that when they hit age 13, we would plummet in intelligence and then, at about 19, we would get it all back. Our son begged to differ with us from his experience. Our daughter, however, confirmed in no uncertain terms that it happened just like we said.
Was your dad able to laugh at himself? You know, when he hit the big 4-0 or 5-0 or 6-0, how did he do? What about when he put on a few pounds? Normally the scale looks different at 50, 60 or 70 than it did at 25.
How did Dad do with Mom? Was he Mr. Romantic, or was that not his strong suit? How about the kisser extraordinaire? You probably don’t want to ask many more questions when thinking of your mother. Whatever the case, you have to see Dad as cool for trying to be whatever he was supposed to be for and with Mom.
What about Dad's surprises? Did your dad ever sneak up on you with a surprise, maybe a fishing trip or ball game? How about a little hangout time totally unexpected? What I always enjoyed, surprise or not, was him picking up the tab. It’s kind of a dad thing!
Cool dads—you can’t beat ‘em! I loved the one God gave me and hope to be somewhat cool with the kids He gave me. Snerdly-nerdly, yes; completely stylish, no; a bit goofy, a lot. Corny jokes, you got it. Love the kids more than they can know.
At the end of the journey, it matters not how perfect Dad was or that you are. It matters that he and you be as He made he and you to be. Cool? I’d say so. If Dad loved God and you love God, that is really cool! Enjoy it!
Richard Hardy is the founder and president of the Hardy Group, an executive consulting firm for senior pastors. His tagline is “Everything But Preaching: Dealing with the stuff that keeps you up at night.” Richard brings a wealth of experience to the table for pastors when dealing with the tough issues of the church relative to growth, organization, leadership, administration and change.