I recently attended an all day seminar on couples counseling. We began the seminar filling out a form about our parents. There were two sections–positive and negative traits of your mother and father (or major caretaker growing up). Then we were to circle the top traits and see if they were similar to the person we married.
For my father, I wrote–stable, integrity, always there, man of faith and easy going. Interestingly, the man I married has all the same traits. I also noticed that I tend to incorporate some of my dad’s negative traits in to my life. as well. For example, my dad is not a risk taker and neither am I. He is hard on himself when he makes a mistake and so am I.
Dads are important influences regarding who we become. We integrates parts of them into our growing and changing selves whether we are conscious of this or not.
So this Father’s Day, take a few moments and consider the positive and negatives traits of your father. Are they a reflection of you or the person you married? This day, focus on the positive and honor him for pouring good things into your life. List those positive traits, tell him, or write them in a brief note. Sometimes, we focus too much on the problems and not enough on the good things we get from our parents.
Later, you may want to reflect on those negative traits and decide how much of those are in you or the person you married. Making those traits conscious allows you to understand the attraction you have to specific people and work on those issues in your marriage and yourself. Then, you can change those things that need changing and keep those parts you value.
And even if your parenting wasn’t stellar, you do have a heavenly Father who provides you with all you need. Not all dads are good at giving unconditional love and acceptance, but your heavenly Father is. He never rejects, abandons or makes you earn His love. He is always present and ready to give you good things.