Since this is Father’s Day weekend, I have been thinking a lot about my Dad. Thirteen years ago, after a six month battle with cancer, he went home to be with the Lord. We sang hymns to him the night he died, and I like to say that we “sang him into heaven”. I have many memories of fun times with my dad, and am thankful to God for the Godly heritage I had. Looking back I realize the many things he “gave” me from his life, his teaching, and his example.
1. The knowledge that God can be trusted to provide.
We went through some rough times, but I never saw my Dad worry. He would reassure us that God would take care of us. I remember the year that he lost his business, and finances were very tight. People from the church brought us food, and I especially remember them bringing us Christmas baskets with toys, and goodies. My Dad reminded us that God was not only taking care of our needs, but also some of our “wants”.
2. The example of never giving up.
I don’t remember all the details, because I was young. But I do remember my Dad moving on to new ventures when one didn’t work out. He owned a laundromat, and it went bankrupt. He went on from there to be a salesman for many years. Then he opened his own business, and ran an office supply and print shop for many years. When that was no longer bringing in enough business, he started a business with vending machines. I saw him when he was discouraged at times, but I NEVER saw him just GIVE UP.
3. The gift of planned, special things to show that family and family fun times were important.
Even though money was tight, Dad managed to save money for special things. I remember trips each summer to Cedar Point. We also had a swimming pool in the backyard to enjoy together as a family. He would also bring us home a gift/souvenir when he had to be out of town for his sales job. He saved here and there so that we would have gifts at Christmas.
4. He gave us a Godly upbringing.
I feel SO blessed that I was brought up in a Christian home! We went to church regularly, and every summer we went to the Bill Rice Ranch for family week, and heard great men of God preach daily. When I was in junior high school, he enrolled my sister and I in a Christian school. (They were kind of a new thing, and people were starting to get concerned about the public schools.)
5. He loved the Bible!
I can still picture him sitting in his chair in the living room, reading his Bible. It was marked with notes, and underlined verses. He loved to talk about the things he was studying and learning about from his Bible. Most important, he taught me the need to have my own devotional time in God’s Word, and to develop the habit of daily devotions.
6. He was faithful to church.
He loved going to church, and loved hearing preaching. When we weren’t at church, he often was listening to preaching tapes. He didn’t go out of “duty”, but rather because he loved being with God’s people. Church was a big part of our life, and the preaching and teaching I heard influenced me to love and serve God.
7. He taught us a good work ethic.
He paid us to work for him while we were growing up, and in the process, he taught us to work hard. For his business he had us put brochures together, and staple them. We got paid by how many we got done, which taught us to work together, work smart, and get it done. As we got older, he let us do office work. Again, he trained us to do our best, and work hard.
When I think about these things, I realize that much of who I am today as a parent, goes back to my dad! Over the years, it has been my passion to give my kids a love for God and His Word. Teaching them Godly character has been one of my top priorities. I thank God for the influence of my dad, and for allowing me to be brought up in a Christian home!