Everyone needs dad’s love

Father’s Day is coming up soon, and I can say from experience while having an involved father clearly benefits children, the person that benefits the most is the father himself.

I am filled with great pride when I see my son’s eyes light up when I join him for lunch at school.

All the planning I must do to make time to see my son during the day seems insignificant when I sit with him and his friends and hear about their day at school.

When I took my family to Disney World when my daughter was 2, I remember the way her face sparkled with delight as she watched “Beauty and the Beast.” All the stress of planning and saving money for the trip melted away when I watched my daughter enjoy those sweet moments.

My father moved out of our home and life when I was a young child. Not having the leadership and guidance of a father affected every area of my life.

I remember playing football without my father in the stands to cheer me on. My desire to be a caring and loving father started as a young child, noting everyday events as opportunities to seize my role as a father. Being married to my wonderful wife of almost 12 years and teaching and loving our three children has brought a great deal of healing to the wounds of my childhood.

In the summer of 2006, my team and I founded Vineyard Family Services, a nonprofit organization combating the absence of fathers in families. My passion for this cause is very personal, and I can offer firsthand testimony to the value a father has in his children’s lives.

Vineyard Family Services is now a strong and thriving support system that offers many services to men who want to be a part of their children’s lives.

If you are a father, I would like to personally encourage you to make time to be a part of your children’s lives.

I challenge you, regardless of your past, to do all you can to ensure you will be proud of the way you fathered your children when you are older.