One of my favorite movies is Guess Who with Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, Bernie Mac and Judith Scott. It’s a 2005 remake of the 1967 film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy & Sidney Poitier.

In Guess Who, Theresa brings her boyfriend Simon home to meet her parents. Theresa and her parents are black. Theresa neglects to tell her parents that Simon is white, complicating all the relationships. Overriding the issue of race is Theresa’s father’s distrust of Simon. After a dinner ruckus that many consider the funniest part of the movie, Theresa goes to her father to talk. Every time I watch this scene I am stunned by its strength and truth. It is a perfect message for Father’s Day.

Theresa confesses to her father that she is afraid to marry a white man. She loves him and he’s a wonderful guy, but she’s experienced hateful words and looks when they are in public and she is afraid. Here’s the interchange that impacted me so strongly:

Theresa: I need you to tell me that it’s OK to be with him.
Her Father: Baby, me telling you it’s OK is not going to change the world.
Theresa: But it would change my world. Daddy, it’ll change my world if I know you’re behind us.

“But it would change my world.” Somehow, knowing that we have our father’s support, approval and blessing changes our world. Knowing that we have someone behind us gives us courage to face the battles in front of us.

Yesterday I was organizing some old photos and I came across the envelope that holds all the memorabilia associated with my father’s death. I don’t think I’ve looked through it since my dad died a few years ago, and I didn’t go looking for it yesterday – God’s timing sure is interesting, isn’t it? One of the things in the envelope was the printed version of his online guestbook. I read all the entries, and here’s part of my husband’s entry:

“Hey there, old man!” That’s how Pat and I always greeted each other. My father died of cancer when I was 12 years old. For the last 29 years, Pat Parks was as close to being a father to me as anyone. I always felt like he had my back. He wasn’t one to hover over us, but I  always knew that he was watching out for me…I look forward to seeing him again – on the Other Side – and saying, “Hey there, old man!” (emphasis mine)

Dads – let your kids know that you have their backs. Don’t hover, but let them know you are behind them – cheering, encouraging and backing up in a fight when necessary. (And be sure to tell your daughters how smart and beautiful they are!)

The wonderful thing about being a child of God, is that He is a perfect Father. Whether our earthly fathers were supportive or not, we can stand with confidence and face the battles in front of us because He always has our backs. He promised He would. And we can bank on that.

18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-30

5bfor he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” 6So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”

Hebrews 13:5b-6

2 Responses to “Dads Have the Power to Change Their Children’s World – I learned it in a movie!”
  1. Lisa says:

    Sandy, what a lovely message on Father’s Day.

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