Proverbs 4:1 Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, And give attention that you may gain understanding
There are so many horrible examples of fatherhood today. The Lord graciously blessed me with a God honoring dad. Maybe you didn’t have a great dad, through this blog I want to share my dad with you. You can learn from him as I have.
The past few days my parent’s have been visiting with us in celebration of my son’s 6th birthday. It has been such a blessing to spend some time with mom and dad. As I am often reflecting on fatherhood I wanted to share a few truths that my dad’s life has taught and continues to teach me.
LOVE YOUR WIFE – My dad is not a typical romantic, in fact from a Hollywood prospective he is actually pretty terrible at romance. However, my dad deeply loves my mother, she knows it and so does every one else. Recently my mother has been through a physical ordeal with a botched surgery that almost killed her. After over a month in the hospital she was able to go home. Dad has been her nurse. He has had to dress her wounds and help her in every way. My mother also has many problems with her back and is not able to sleep on a flat mattress any longer. She sleeps in a recliner. I was talking to mom this weekend and we were discussing options for her to get a mattress that she may be able to sleep on. I made the comment to her that I am sure dad misses having her warmth near him at night since they sleep in different rooms because of her back. To that she said to me, “Oh, he doesn’t sleep in a different room. Ever since I have come home from the hospital he sleeps beside me on the couch to make sure I am ok.” Wow! That is romance. What a great lesson on teaching me how to love my wife. I hope I can be like that one day.
SERVE YOUR FAMILY WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT – Being a dad is hard work. Sometimes being a dad is no fun at all. It means you park the car and run through the rain while you let everyone else off at the entrance. It means you give up your jacket when someone in the family is cold. It means you cut up your children’s food before you eat your own. I have witnessed my dad selflessly give of himself and I can’t remember him ever complaining about it. I can remember late one night when I as 18 or 19 and I acquired a flat tire. I looked underneath my truck and I had no light and no way of changing the tire. Who did I call? Dad! He’d been in bed for hours. He came and helped me change my tire. He smiled and told me he was sorry I had a flat. He never complained. I hope I can be like that one day.
BE INVOLVED – He watched “He-Man” with me, coached my little league teams (to multiple championships), took me camping, and took me to help him in the garden. He took me fishing. He took me to church. He never missed a high school football or soccer game that I played in. He even came and watched practice. He was always the loudest one. He had a nickname for me. He called me “Tank.” I can remember on cold nights in Florida during soccer season the crowd would be a dismal 20 people bundled up in blankets quietly cheering us on. In the quite crowd I heard the loud voice of my dad, “KICK IT TANK! GET EM TANK! SCORE TANK!” To be real honest it embarrassed me at the time. Now with deep affection it brings tears to my eyes as I think about his voice. Even today as a write this his support continues. My dad and mom were supposed to leave on Monday morning of this week but they stayed another day because I am preaching a revival. They stayed an extra day to hear me preach, to encourage me, to lift me up. I hope I can be like that one day.
MODEL FAITH – I can remember many mornings waking up to find my dad on his knees praying (probably for my brothers and I) and reading his Bible. Each week he calls me and prays with me over the phone. He serves his church. I don’t think he has ever met someone he didn’t like. He seems to really think of others as more important than himself. I hope I can be like that one day.
LAUGH A LOT – My dad told me when he was growing up his nickname was “Sunshine.” I’m guessing it’s because he’s always laughing and smiling. My dad has a high-pitched laugh that we heard often in our home growing up. He is a fun guy that little kids are drawn too. My friends always loved my dad when I was a kid because he always took an interest in them. We never had “inside” dogs growing up. One way my dad thought would be an effective way to wake my brothers and I up was to throw a Dachshund on us in the morning and allow them to lick us awake…not pleasant, but he thought it was funny. I hope I can be like that one day.
BE MORE – I never had the chance to meet my grandfather. Apparently he was a brilliant man. I never got to meet him because he was an alcoholic. He had so many gifts but alcohol would rob my dad of the father he needed. It would have been easy and natural for my dad and his brothers to go down the same path. Alcoholic’s children often suffer the same fate as their parents. The Grace of God, a loving mother, the prayers of a Godly wife, and a desire in my dad to be the dad he never had made him different. I have never seen him drunk. He has never abused me in a fit of rage. He chose to be different. He chose to be more! I know his prayer for me is not that I become him but that I become all that God wants me to be. My prayer for my son is not that he walks in my path but that he takes the next step as a follower of Christ and lover of people. I hope I can be like that one day…
These are some things I am learning from my dad. My mom is even better J I will write about her soon. What are some things you have learned (good or bad) from your dad?