Grieving Inspiration

Some Things You May Want to Tell Your Father-in-Law on Father’s Day

{{ A Father’s Day message to my father-in-law }}

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A daddy is so important to a girl… always… But a treasured father-in-law, I’m learning as I get older, is also indeed priceless. So this Father’s Day I’m writing an open letter to my father-in-law…

Thank you for your investment in my husband.

Thank you for all the treasured qualities you invested in my husband long ago. I cash in the dividends every day of my marriage.

Thank you for the hours you spent taking your son to a ball game, showing him that real men wash dishes, or encouraging him to take apart an old toaster so he could put it together again. Those collective hours made him into the loving father and exceedingly helpful husband that he is.

Those collective hours culminate into evenings like yesterday… evenings when my husband redefines “love” and makes it impossible for me to say what is more beautiful… the blue-sky New England evening or an industrious dad who gets home from a long day of work and goes right back out to help his daughters gather hay. Because their cow needs it.

Thank you for your investment in my daughters.

Thank you for the cherished hours you have spent over the decades with my daughters. They cash in their rewards today with the admonition of the Lord that you have engrained in them. They will cash in even more benefits when they start to seek out and choose husbands of their own. Because you and your son have given them a template. A measuring rod.

My daughters will always judge a man against the litmus test of your examples, and thereby inspire in their husbands–and expect from their husbands–nothing less than respect.

My daughters will always expect the men in their lives to be fashioned from the same cloth as their granddad and daddy–strong, durable cloth that they can wrap themselves in, if they feel insecure; hang over them as a shield of protection, if they feel tattered and spent; or send before them, as a banner of love, when they feel like the warriors you’ve taught them to be as they face a day’s battle.

My daughters will accept nothing less than men who know how a guy needs to treat a girl. 

Thank you for your investment in me.

Thank you that you continue to assure me that you are there for me. That’s a premium that I never thought much about when I had my own daddy to count on. But now my dad, the gardener, has left me. He’s gone on to garden where there’s never a weed, a thorn, or too much sun, but where I can’t be by his side. At least not yet.

Knowing I still have a dad in you, well, I can’t put words to that value. That dividend sits deep in my core, grounds me, and gives me joy when I cash in a tear of loneliness now and again.

Because not only is a daddy important to a girl, but a supportive, compassionate husband–and daughters who know what qualities are estimable in a man–are priceless.

For all the parts you have played in this bounty that I am blessed with, “Thank you, Dad.”

 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9


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4 Comment

  1. Michelle what a beautiful way to honor your Father in law! I love this idea. I never had the pleasure of knowing my Father-in-Law, he passed when my husband was only a young boy, but I would like to think he would have invested time into me and the children as yours has! What a blessing to you all!!

  2. Hey Michelle, found you through the Christian Bloggers FB group. I really appreciated this post… it’s something I honestly would not have thought of, and I like the way you write concisely but with real transparency and gratitude. Not sure if she’s been one of your influences, but your writing reminds me of Ann Voskamp… a good thing, at least in my mind. Thanks again!

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