by Connie T. Kee
Father’s Day has always been a family tradition for us. Actually, Father’s Day didn’t become a national holiday until 1972. I’m a bit of a history buff, so here’s a little father’s day trivia for you: although the roots of the holiday are steeped in commercialism and controversy, it was originally inspired by the celebration of Mother’s Day. In the beginning, just the thought of Father’s Day met with resistance, especially from men. One historian wrote that men, “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.”** The celebration was not going to be deterred as retailers tried to create a “second Christmas” for fathers, advertising gifts such as ties, socks, and sporting goods, to name a few. They were quite successful, though, because it’s now a $1 billion industry.
How many of us have bought neckties or socks for a Father’s Day gift? I certainly have, but not for quite a while. I try to buy my husband, Scott, gifts that: #1, he would never buy for himself, and #2, would ‘bless his socks off’. Not just any gift will do for him because he is a special father and deserves to be honored and celebrated! So last year, I bought him a new grill. He‘s somewhat of a “grillmeister,” but he has always used refurbished grills that he renovated himself. When he saw his brand new, shiny Weber sitting on the deck, he beamed from ear to ear!
There are great dads for sure, but it takes a special man to become a father to a teenager and pre-teen. That’s exactly what Scott did when he married me. Most new fathers have nine months to prepare for fatherhood, and then they participate in new baby things, such as diapering, bathing and feeding. Scott, however, became an instantaneous, overnight father and learned the ropes by listening to 1980’s teen music and attending soccer and basketball games. He sacrificed financially in so many ways, including sending the children to private Christian school. It wasn’t all perfect and adjustments had to be made, but he loved us unconditionally and welcomed all three of us (including our ‘wild’ dog and old cat) into his heart and home. Even though he had never been a father, he accepted the challenges and responsibilities of fatherhood with courage and commitment and brought a quiet strength, confidence and security into our family. Three years after this tsunami type introduction to fatherhood, Scott did learn to change diapers as our third child, Kevin, was born and our family grew. All three children are grown now, and Scott is not only a father, but also a father-in-law and ‘Grandpa’ to our four grandchildren. And I must say he is grand! You see, Scott is our Boaz and he is our hero.
In the Old Testament book of Ruth, Boaz was Ruth’s hero and her kinsman-redeemer. (Ruth 3:9) A kinsman-redeemer was a relative who received, rescued and redeemed a family member in need. That’s the way I view my Scott. Just as Ruth moved to a new location with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and found Boaz (her relative by marriage), my children and I moved to Hampton Roads and found Scott, our Boaz. As a man who loves Jesus Christ, Scott is my brother in Christ. He did the same for me and my children that Boaz did for Ruth – he received us as his own and fulfilled the role of father for my children.
The story of Ruth and Boaz is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ as our one true kinsman-redeemer. Jesus is our brother (Hebrews 2:11), our bridegroom (John 3:29), and our great deliverer. Through His death on the Cross and His resurrection, we are rescued from sin and death, and we are received into the family of God, our Father. As we grow in Christ, we become more like Him and reflect His character and love to others. Scott has truly reflected Jesus Christ to us as husband and father. He continually shows unconditional love, is quick to forgive, and demonstrates the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his daily life.
So as Father’s Day 2015 approaches, I will again try to find that one special gift. However, no gift can adequately do justice to Scott nor demonstrate how truly thankful I am for the wonderful husband and father he is to us. He is truly one in a million, and I thank God every day for this man who deserves to be honored and celebrated every day of the year!