In Honor of Dad: Famous Dads in Art

The Counsel of a Father

My children, listen when your father corrects you.
    Pay attention and learn good judgment,
for I am giving you good guidance.
    Don’t turn away from my instructions.
For I, too, was once my father’s son,
    tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.

My father taught me,
“Take my words to heart.
    Follow my commands, and you will live.
 Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
    Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
 Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.
    Love her, and she will guard you.
 Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!
    And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
 If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.
    Embrace her, and she will honor you.
 She will place a lovely wreath on your head;
    she will present you with a beautiful crown.”

~Proverbs 4:1-9 (New Living Translation)

The Prodigal Son Returns byRembrandt van Rijn (c. 1662)

Based on Jesus’ parable in Luke 15, this painting expresses a father’s joy at the return of his son. 

George Banks, Father of the Bride

When his daughter returns from Italy engaged, George learns the hard way that he isn’t the only man in her life anymore while coping with putting on a wedding. He is a slightly milder version of my Dad. 🙂

Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof

Father to five girls, Tevye tries to balance his faith in a changing world.  In some aspects he changes over time, while in others he remains staunch.

Mr. Porter, College Roadtrip

Safety regulations and protective spirit aside, Mr. Porter is nothing like my Dad. He is good dad as far as movies go, though, and he always cracks me up.

There aren’t many good examples of movie/literary dads. We have some decent examples of manhood, but not really fatherhood. When I began the thought process for this article I was watching The Lord of the Rings. When it came to the Faramir-Denethor relationship, I thought, “Wow! Denethor is a really bad father.” And then I got thinking of all of the Grimm and Disney fairy tales where the father figure was completely absent.  It’s not a great comment on fatherhood in our society.

I know not everyone has had a good father. Many fathers are emotionally and physically absent and that is being reflected in our art. A lot of that gets blamed on the women’s lib movement of the sixties, where women allegedly emasculated men. I think, however, that just as women’s sin issue has been one of dissatisfaction since the beginning, men’s sin issue has been that of stepping up in leadership. Our society doesn’t just need better art examples of  fatherhood, but real life examples of good fatherhood.

I had to point that out because it’s clearly an issue, but it’s not to say that I don’t have a good dad. My Dad is the very best dad.  🙂

My Dad prays and is a prayer warrior. My Dad teaches and leads by example. He invested countless hours with my siblings and I, making sure we hid God’s Word in our hearts. Unlike a lot of people, my Dad doesn’t assume I have everything all figured out (not even the common sense stuff). My Dad speaks the truth boldly, even to me. My Dad is a disciplinarian (in the very best sense).

I am so thankful that my Dad is present. I am thankful that my Dad is protective. I am thankful that I know my Dad wouldn’t do anything to harm our family or me. I am thankful from where God has brought my Dad from and where He’s bringing him to.

Thank you to all dads who are there for your families physically and emotionally, who are a Christ-like example of fatherhood.

We love you and appreciate you. It is our prayer that God raises up more men like you.


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