Tuesday morning as I was driving to a school for professional development, I was listening to Chuck Swindoll’s “Insight for Living” on the radio. His sermon was on a father’s role in the family. He said that we revere our mothers on Mother’s Day (and rightly so), but sometimes fathers get short shrift. A father’s influence in the family is critical, even after the children are grown. Fathers should continue to have a godly influence on grandchildren and great-grandchildren to come.
Chuck said that first of all fathers are the providers for the family, next they are maintainers of boundaries for their children, and they are, throughout their whole lives, instructors…hence the number of times in Proverbs it says “my son.” I wish I had all the scripture references, but I was driving, after all.
Sometimes when I do workshops for teachers, we talk about student motivation. Many are quick to say that students today are not motivated to learn. (I could do a whole post about this comment…) I tell them that I wasn’t especially excited about geometry, algebra, etc. either. My motivation was that my dad told me to go to class and pay attention. I had a healthy respect for my dad because I knew that if I got in trouble at school, I was in for a great deal more at home. My dad had high expectations for his daughters and we did our best to meet them.
My dad also had us in church nearly every time the doors were opened. I can picture my dad right now sitting in his Lazy Boy on a Saturday afternoon with his Bible opened on the end table beside him preparing his Sunday School lesson for the next morning. His favorite Bible verse was: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16 Dad was not ashamed to tell others about Jesus.
Dad went to be with his Lord and Savior in 2001 when he was 83. For the last three years of his life he was in an assisted living facility. He couldn’t drive for those last years, so I had his car. I found this in the driver’s side pocket. It had been well-used.
Dad’s name is on the cornerstone of First Baptist Church in Houston, but his real legacy is he has two daughters, two granddaughters, and two grandsons who love the Lord. He also has three great-grandchildren who are being raised to know and love Jesus.
A righteous man who walks in his integrity…How blessed are his sons (daughters) after him. Proverbs 20:7