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The Lion Who Eats Last


When I think of my dad, I always think of a lion. He's strong, and fights terrifically every day to keep me and my family fed and clothed. When he is not fighting, however, he's attending to the needs of his family pride, helping my siblings with homework, teaching me to drive, and doing chores around the house to ease the burdens of my mom. But there is one particular thing he does that made me realize what a truly great father he is, and how important it is to have a good dad. In a real lion pride, the male lion eats first, followed by the lionesses, and the cubs eat last. But in my family, my dad doesn't eat a single bite of food until he is certain that the rest of us have eaten enough to be full. Only then will he take food for himself. In doing this, my dad has rendered himself nobler and stronger than all the lions in the world. In him is a perfect example of what fathers are supposed to be.


Some people have a misconception when Christians say that a father is meant to be in a position of leadership and guidance in the home. When we say fathers are leaders, it can bring to mind a king lording over his castle and treating his subjects like servants. Looking at my dad, however, I know that’s not true at all. My dad is a great leader, and he does what great leaders should be doing. He guides us kids through the pitfalls of life, and is there to catch us and encourage us when we fall. He is also a pillar of support for my mother, there to help her when the task of running a home gets to be too much. My dad does not put in all that work just to lord it over us. He does it because he loves his family more than anything else in the whole world. We are, and always have been, his first priority. It overwhelms me sometimes, the love that my father has for us. That is why it saddens me, as a young adult, to see how much the role of the “father” has been diminished. People trash dads and men, all the time. I am not trying to say that single moms are inferior to a two-parent home. But if a good father can be in the picture, it increases the blessings tenfold. I know that I would not be the same person I am today without my dad and his example.


This Father’s Day, take the time to thank your husband, or father, or brother, or anyone else who has assumed the role of the lion who eats last in your life. Tell them you love them, let them put their feet up, or take them out for dessert. Whatever you do, show them all the love that they give you every day. Let’s appreciate good fathers for everything they do, and everything they sacrifice. On Father’s Day, let’s let that long-suffering lion eat first.




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