On this Father’s Day, it is only fitting to reflect on those God has called us to Honor (Exodus 20:12) and Obey (Eph 6:1-2). The ones to whom God entrusted us to raise our fathers.
For me, Father’s Day is always a bit bittersweet. Bitter because it brings me to reflect on what I have lost but Sweet because of the riches I gained by being the son of such a godly man.
Today brings to mind my Dad whom I still miss very much. He was a man’s man who loved his family with all of his heart. He taught my brother and I so very many things. He taught us what it looks like for a man to love his wife like Christ loves the church (Eph 5:25-33). He taught us what it looks like to be a one-woman-man (Titus 1:6). He taught us what it looked like to truly become one-flesh with your wife (Gen 2:24; Eph 5:31). (At their death my Papa said he had never seen two people he thought more closely resembled this truth than my parents. He said that they were so much apart of the other that they could not “make a sandwich with out the other one”. And he truly meant this as one of the highest complements he could give. What a heritage.)
He taught us that a real man cares more about others than his own interests (Phil 2:3-4). He taught us that one of the marks of a real man and father was sacrifice for those you love. (My shoes always were in better shape and newer than Dad’s because he would make sure everyone was taken care of and if there were funds left then and only then would he remotely entertain taking care of his needs. And even then it was only after he could not think of anything to lavish on my mother.) He taught me that there is nothing more important than a man’s responsibility to his family (1 Tim 5:8), not a career, not hobbies, not even church! (My dad resigned as a Deacon at our church because it began taking too much time from his training of my brother and I. Not that it mattered when he resigned, like any true servant he kept serving without the title – he was just free of the endless meetings.) He taught us that a real man sacrifices for his convictions.
He taught us how to think through and research jobs you did not know how to do and then tackle them to serve your family. He taught us how to work on cars and build well-houses (boy, my thumbs hurt just thinking about that one!). He taught us how to laugh and enjoy life (One of my favorite pictures is of him laughing and “getting it all over [him]self” as he often said).
He was a man that took seriously the Word of God and tried to guard his steps to walk therein. I watched him vigorously defend the truth, standing his ground no matter the opposition. I also watched him, once convicted of his sin by that same Word in the hands of another brother in Christ, repent in tears for sins both public and private.
He was a man to whom I paid far too little honor when he walked among men and whom I now miss greatly.
I have been so richly and truly blessed to have been his son and I pray that I can live faithfully – thereby honoring his labor and investment in my life which ultimately honors our Heavenly Father.
I love you Dad.