“The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!” Proverbs 20:7

Does it bother anyone else that Mother’s Day was an official holiday for nearly 60 years before they decided to recognize a day for dads, too? Without dads, who would frighten the teenage boys who come to date our daughters, tell bad jokes, and stand guard on the front porch during stormy weather? I’m kidding (sort of). Dads are great.

But there’s another side to Father’s Day—husbands. Yes, I know, they are the fathers (or maybe stepfathers) of our children. But anyone who has seen a husband turn into a father, has seen a regular man transform into a greater guy. I couldn’t be the mom I am without my favorite, red-headed dad at my side.

Reasons I’m thankful for my husband

So Father’s Day isn’t just a day for you guys to feel loved and appreciated by your kids. It’s a day for us wives to appreciate you, too. It’s a day for us to say “thanks” for all the ways you add to our lives by being the best dads and husbands you can be. Our kids might not see all you sacrifice for the family, but we do. They might not appreciate everything you contribute to our lives daily that keep us going, but we are thankful for you.

Parenting can be hard, but I can’t think of anyone else I’d want to raise our kids with than you, dear husband. And when we work as a team, it’s a lot of fun. And that’s thanks to you. So this Father’s Day, here’s to the husbands—a few reasons we’re thankful you’re ours.

1. Thanks for working those late nights.

Those late nights at the office and after-hour emergencies? Yep, thanks for those. Not because we were happy to have you away (you were definitely missed), but because you worked those long nights for us. Providing for us. Your hard work allowed me to stay home with the kids for 10 years. I have always appreciated that, and when our kids become parents one day, they will, too.

2. Thanks for reminding me our kids aren’t so fragile.

Every single time you tossed our kids in the air when they were tiny, I cringed. What if they hit their head on the ceiling (OK, there was that one time…)? What if you got a sudden leg cramp and failed to catch our little angel?

The “worry” sensor in mom brains (it’s totally scientific) tends to go into overdrive when we see our littles in potential danger. Thanks for ignoring us when it gets a bit ridiculous. Life is full of risks. If it wasn’t for you, our kids would be walking around in bubble wrap.

3. Thanks for always backing me up.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve uttered “I’m going to call Daddy,” to our son. This week. The thing is, I don’t want to make you the bad guy, but he respects your authority differently than he does mine. And when you back me up, it reminds the kids that mom and dad are a team. A fairly good one, at that.

And that worry you have that they see you as the bad guy? Trust me, our son still wants to be you when he grows up. And our daughter? She maybe uttered “I’ll call my daddy” when a kid was picking on her at recess once. You’re not the bad guy. You’re the hero. Especially mine.

4. Thanks for being a great role model.

Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Our kids are blessed to be “trained” by you, not just through your words, but by your actions.

I don’t know of anyone who is a harder worker than you are. You model what it means to be a provider to our kids. You also show up to help friends (or anyone really) when they need you. Even if you were up working half the night. That’s admirable. It shows them people are more important than our own schedules. Kids pick up on that stuff even when you don’t think they do.

Get help mapping out the values, resolutions and goals for your family.

5. Thanks for spending your “free” time fixing broken stuff.

Finally had a weekend off? The alternator goes out in the car. Home after a long day at work? I think I hear a water leak. I know that sometimes it seems you just can’t catch a break from all the things that go wrong. Murphy’s Law, right? I am pretty sure we wouldn’t have warm showers, running vehicles, and even updated phones if it wasn’t for you. Here’s to dads—the fixers of all things broken.

6. Thanks for never (OK, rarely) mentioning all the forgotten “thanks.”

You do a lot of things for us that may seem to go unnoticed because we (I) forget to say thank you. You dressed our son for preschool the other day, yet I complained that Max was wearing his old tennis shoes and not the new ones. Sorry about that. And thanks. We won’t even talk about the times I have reloaded the dishwasher behind you. I am sure God will bless you for your patience.

7. Thanks for all the ways you bring your own touch to this family of ours.

I am a natural planner. I like all the details planned out before we say “go.” You, not so much. Thanks for that. I want our kids to learn to embrace spontaneity. And let’s face it. They aren’t learning that from me. But that is just one of the ways you bring your unique personality to our home. And it wouldn’t be the same without you. No one else can fill your shoes. Literally and figuratively.

What I am really trying to say is, husband, you rock. Not only do you serve the role of Daddy, Dad, Pops, Daddio (or father by any other name), but you make up the absolutely necessary second half of this parenting team. Our kids would only be half as awesome, half as cool, and half as strong without you. And quite frankly, so would I. Thanks.

Copyright © 2018 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved

Lisa Lakey is the managing editor of digital content for FamilyLife. Before joining the ministry in 2017, she was a freelance writer covering parenting and Southern culture. She and her husband, Josh, have been married since 2004. Lisa and Josh live in Benton, Arkansas, with their two children, Ella and Max.