WORLD'S WORST DAD

By Mike Lehr: The first Father's Day gift I got was a t-shirt from my wife, on behalf of our then-infant daughter: "World's Greatest Dad."  I was flattered.  But I am not delusional.  I know this is not true.  I try really hard, but more often than not, I feel like the World's Worst Dad.

Take the other morning for example.  My wife was working, which means I have drop-off duties for our 10 year old and 3 year old before heading into work.  One is not a morning person, and the other is a little too rambunctious, which for me spells:

F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-O-N.

I-M-P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E.

A-N-G-E-R.

I was impatient and my temper was short, so I lashed out and yelled at them. The next scene haunts me: their mouths and eyes wide open, tears welling and running down their faces. I crumbled in an instant, feeling the full weight of my flawed humanity.  Not as an excuse, but a reality.

I let myself remember the story because I know I'll never grow if I can't be honest with myself, realizing and learning from my shortcomings.  I share it with you so you can also learn from those shortcomings.

Being honest with myself is not enough, though.  I have to be honest with my kids.  I have to apologize to them when I realize I'm acting like a jerk.  And as they get older, I will give them permission to call me on it (respectfully, of course).

What I love most about my family is that they are a living picture of grace.  They love me despite my flaws and my shortcomings.  They accept me and forgive me time and time again.

So as you contemplate last week's "Best Dad In the World" gear, don't let it go to your head.  Instead, appreciate the graceful family who knows the real you -- and still chooses to love you.

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