Sunday is Father’s Day, a day men like me are celebrated. It’s also a day I honor my father, and my sons-in-law who are dads to my grandchildren.

Instead of focusing on all the huge gifts and accolades I’m sure to receive when I awake Sunday morning (see, I still have a sense of humor at 60), I’d rather focus on challenging all fathers out there to ask one simple question, “What kind of father am I?

The question doesn’t ask if your kids are living at home or all grown up, or if for some reason you are divorced and no longer live at home with your wife and children.

The question is straightforward, “What kind of father am I?”

With all the turmoil in our streets today, I think it’s even more important that fathers of all races step up and be the man their children need in their lives.

Be the father who teaches them what’s right and what’s wrong.

Be the man who can easily flow between disciplining his child(ren), and loving his child(ren),

Be the man who teaches his children things their mother can’t teach.

Last week I had plenty of opportunity to reflect about how I did, and continue to do as a father to my daughters. With all their kids at our house for a week, I found myself in the position of being the good Poppie and the bad (disciplining) Poppie.

The flow between discipline and love came back to me as easily as riding a bicycle.

What I found out is that regardless of what is going on around the world, some things still apply.

I wasn’t concerned about my grandchildren’s feelings when they did wrong. Their actions had consequences, just as my daughters’ actions had consequences when they were growing up, and just as my actions had consequences when I was growing up.

Amazingly, after receiving their proper Poppie punishment, and after they were told why they were being chastised, they always ended up playing with the old man again.

I know they didn’t like being punished, but there is no doubt in my mind they are fully aware of my love for them.

For those of you lucky enough to be called dad this Father’s Day, I want to share what popped into my head during the reception of my oldest daughter’s wedding. I used it again at my youngest daughter’s wedding a few years later.

I told each of them, “I’m no longer your man, but I’ll always be your dad.”

I gladly relinquished my role as “the man” in their lives long ago, but I’ll never relinquish my role as their dad.

It’s way too important for them, as well as for me.

Other than the title husband, there’s no greater title a man can have.

Until next week, have a good week … and be the father God wants you to be … and that doesn’t mean being perfect. Speak the truth in love, and above all, don’t be afraid to love.

Mike Probst can be reached at publisher@rockportpilot.com.

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