Love is an incredible thing.
I hope you can wrap your head around that earth-shattering, profound statement I just laid out for y’all.
But really, love is the thing that makes people come alive. People in love are fun to watch (and I assume are fun to be). When I hang out at Starbucks, I can usually tell within 5-10 minutes of watching a couple whether they’re in love. There’s just something different there. I can also tell if it’s a first date…there’s just something awkward there. From what I hear, being in love makes you feel like you’re walking on air, your head spins, every song on the radio is about your lover (which makes you wonder if T-Swiz is maybe trying to go all “you belong with me” on your man…but then you realize that’s crazy talk because if your man knew T-Swiz and didn’t tell you, that would be the bigger issue than her trying to steal him), you may act a little crazy (refer to previous parenthetical statement), and you’re just so freaking happy. And I think guys just start smiling and winking a lot more, but maybe they act crazy too. But that’s ok. Because you’re in love.
And if you adhere to the familiar adage, first comes love…then comes marriage. And you’re ecstatic on your wedding day because all your friends and family are gathered to celebrate you being in love. You get to make a commitment to forever stay in love with your spouse. You are on cloud 9 because you’re in love and everyone is there to witness this magical love of yours.
So the wedding is beautiful and Pinterest-worthy. Lots of eating, drinking, and dancing occurs. And then some fun stuff happens when everyone leaves and you and your spouse end up on an some exotic vacation (as if you’re going there just to sight-see…well, I guess that is one way to describe what happens…but I digress). And then you come back home and people ooh and ahh over your wedding pictures and honeymoon pictures and new home and all that jazz. And then the marriage hits real life. Unless I’m uninformed, I believe life does not get easier and slower-paced when you get married. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong because I’ll need to register for E-Harmony/an arranged marriage ASAP if that’s the case.
And you’re still in love, but you’re also in life. Meaning you’re no longer always on your best behavior. You no longer always look your best. You no longer get to live just for you. You suddenly have a roommate who is kinda a major part of every decision you make. And suddenly you’re noticing all these super annoying facts about your spouse that they totally did NOT have before marriage. But whatever, you’re married and in love and need to stick to the adage.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. Maybe it takes some waiting, maybe it happens really fast. All you know is that all of a sudden (ok, not quite…you theoretically have about 9 months to prep), this new human is going home with you guys. As in, she’s yours to keep and raise and feed and fund. And although she’s the most beautiful creature in the world and has you wrapped around her finger because she’s so obviously a daddy’s girl, she also has this weird thing where she cries whenever she wants something (apparently all healthy new humans do this?). And sometimes that makes you want to cry. And you lose sleep. Then maybe another new human is added to the mix. And you lose more sleep. And as these little humans grow up, you lose money and even more sleep. And then these little humans want an animal, so you get a dog. And you lose more money and even more sleep. But the dog is pretty cool and doesn’t cry nearly as much as the humans did, so it’s all good.
But there’s this awesome weight on your shoulders: you’ve gotta teach these new humans about love. The dog helps with that task, but a lot of it depends on you. And if you don’t do it, the world will…and the world is wrong.
So you tell your family you love them every day. And then you show them.
You show them you love your wife by helping her cook, complimenting her, being faithful to her, helping her clean, working hard at the office so she can work hard at home with the kids, and so much more that often goes unacknowledged, but not unnoticed. Your daughter (i.e. the previously mentioned most beautiful creature in the world) in particular happens to notice certain things about love. She learns that love is a nice thing to say but an even nicer thing to see. She watches you loving her mom and she begins to pray that one day, God will bring her someone who understands love the way you do (because the Lord knows how fast she can go from cute to crap and it’s probably a world record and we’re gonna need a guy who’s cool with that). Your son notices that you work really hard and you’re quick to forgive…so he becomes a hard worker and quick to forgive. Both kids hear from you over and over again that marriage is a covenant. You and your wife show them what a loving, faithful marriage looks like–and they watch and learn. You raise your daughter’s standards and train your son to be a man of integrity.
You show them you love your God. They see you kneeling beside your bed every morning as you talk to God. When your son is young, he calls you “friend of God” because he kinda thinks you’re on the same level as father Abraham…and then he thinks you’re the chief of a tribe because he doesn’t realize we’re not THAT kind of Indian…but eventually, both kids want to know more about this Jesus that you and your wife seem to love so much. So the kids get to know Jesus and His love for them…and they start loving Him too.
You show them you love them. Sometimes when they’re up early enough to eavesdrop on you and your wife talking to God together, they hear their names mentioned. And it makes them feel all warm inside to know that 3 of their favorites are discussing them right now. And as a side note, sometimes you even unintentionally teach them lessons. Like when you found out that your daughter gave half her lunch to the boy at school who didn’t have a lunch, so starting the next day, you began packing an extra lunch for that boy. And your daughter remembers that. She learns in that moment that sometimes we’re given more–not so we can keep it for ourselves, but so we can give it to others and remind them that they’re loved. So you teach her that love multiplies.
You show them you love them by doing something so simple yet so often not prioritized: you show up. You show up for the piano and voice recitals. You show up for the band and choir concerts. You show up for the soccer games. You show up for the tennis matches. You show up for the awards ceremonies. You show up when they’re ridiculously excited and can’t stop talking. You show up when they’re hit with disappointments. You show up when they’re confused and need guidance. You show up when they take out their anger on you. You show up when they yell and cry. You show up when they need a laugh. You show up when they’re tired. You show up when they say words they wish they could take back. You show up and you stay and you LOVE.
Through the ups and downs of their lives, they know one thing: they are loved.
And maybe you don’t even realize you’re the one who taught them that.
But you did, Dad. You taught us that we are loved by showing us love every day. You point us daily to Jesus through your texts, words, and life. Thank you for loving God, Mom, and us…in that order. Happy Father’s Day–wish we were home with you!
With much love,
Rosh and Roshan
PS For my readers wondering why this mainly focused on Dad…it’s Father’s Day. If you had read the lines above, you would know that…Also, it’s the first Father’s Day that we aren’t all together. Mother’s Day was spent in Atlanta, so no post this year…but Mom obviously also played a MAJOR role in our lives…refer to this post if you need further proof 😉
God’s grace in my life:
He gave me a dad who is a pretty authentic representative of Himself.