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Fathers Day for a country boy

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Yes, like the popular country song by Trace Adkins says, "Ladies love country boys." I couldn’t agree more. My mamma raised me to be a "lady" just like the song says of its heroine. Most of my growing up years were in the big city of Dallas where I attended the largest schools in the city at that time. My youthful years were filled with theater, dance, musicals and symphony.

Perhaps you could imagine my mamma’s surprise when I announced I was marrying a country boy from a small North Texas town and was going to live on his family’s cattle ranch. She has often joked that she didn’t raise me to get my hands dirty, so she had a difficult time imagining me living in the country.

Actually, my husband grew up in the big city, too, but his parents bought the ranch when he was five years old, so he spent most weekends and summers of his growing up years in the country doing what country boys do. My husband’s family moved to the country full-time after he graduated from high school. One thing is for certain — my husband grew up with the love of the country in his mind, body and soul. So there was never any question where he and his wife would live after he married — not in his mind anyway.

My purpose with this column is to explain a little bit about why city girls love country boys or at least why this city girl loves her country boy. And I want to talk about what makes a country boy a great father. In doing so, I plan to praise some of the many endearing qualities of my own country boy. And for any of you young gals out there looking for a husband and future father for your children, you may want to consider these qualities as requisite.

Good manners, dependability and honesty are the first three qualities that occur to me.

My country boy always says "Please" when he asks his daughter or me to do anything and everything and says "Thank you" afterwards. When he makes a promise, he keeps it. When he says he will do something, he does it. When you need his help, he’s ready and willing. And when he gives you a compliment, he really means it. He doesn’t throw compliments around casually, mind you. If you need the truth, ask him and the truth is what you’ll get. It may not be exactly what you want to hear, but he gives his honest opinion and viewpoint in a gentle and kind manner.

My husband is also sincere, trustworthy, candid, straight-forward, plain-spoken, genuine, truehearted and square-shooting. All of which makes him a bona fide country boy and a great husband and daddy.

Did I say patient? My most favorite daddy-daughter memory was when my husband would come in the house after a long, hot day working outside. He would immediately be greeted by our little daughter who had comb and spray-bottle in hand ready to give her daddy what she called a "wet and wild" hairdo. And of course he obliged his daughter’s request for him to sit on the floor.

When I think of my dear husband, I can’t help but think God is smiling and saying "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 17:5)

Now don’t get me wrong. My husband is not always the most perfect husband and dad. Like the rest of us, he makes mistakes and doesn’t always make the best choices. But nothing can take away the goodness God instilled in him. And that’s true of you and me, too. Our innate goodness can’t be lost or robbed from us either. Maybe we forget sometimes to let our better qualities guide us. And maybe we get down on ourselves when we fail to live up to our divine potential.

But my southern roots promise "tomorrow is another day." If God isn’t keeping score of our mistakes, why should we? Didn’t Jesus teach us how to amend for our faults and flaws when he said, "Go and sin no more"? (John 8:11)

So here’s wishing all you dads out there a happy Father’s Day — country dads and city dads. You’re all good in God’s eyes!

Annette Bridges is a weekly columnist for United Press International’s ReligionAnd Spirituality.com who lives on a north Texas ranch with her husband, John. Visit her website and participate in her blog at www.annettebridges.com and send her an email at annet tebridges@gmail.com. © copyright 2008 by Annette Bridges


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