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Parenting is a Sacred Trust
“No one owes you anything…” may be true out there in the world. But in here…
There is a welcomed obligation to help you become the best man or woman you can be.
There is a sacred trust to impart to you the lessons of godliness that have been proven through the generations.
There is a happy opportunity to bear you up before the Lord in all that do do and dedicate you to His will and purpose.
“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I was my father’s son… He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. (Proverbs 4:1, 3, 4 KJV)”
Lessons From My Father
I submitted this comment online in response to a request for the greatest leadership lessons readers had learned from their fathers:
“Anything worth doing is worth doing right with all your might. Dad is a carpenter. This is one of the earliest lessons I can remember from him. He became a born-again Christian when I was 13, so since that time he would articulate this lesson by saying, ‘And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;’ (Col. 3:23)”
Dad was the kind that would take my 4-H woodworking project and do it all himself. I was a little frustrated by that as a kid. Now that I’m an adult, whenever i need help with something, I find myself happy to just let him have control.
My job as a kid when Dad needed my help was holding the flashlight. Working on plumbing under the sink, emergency repairs to the truck, or feeding livestock after dark; all required more light than could be provided naturally, and more hands than the average 2-handed person could afford to spare. Holding the flashlight does not provoke much excitement, and when the task took more than 5 minutes or so, a late tween-early teen could become awful antsy. “Point it over here,” Dad might say. “Where?” I’d reply. “Where I’m working, that’s where!” It was very easy to let that narrow beam drift off target. Especially when I became distracted by my boots or my fingernails or whatever else was more exciting than what Dad was doing. The point was always to get the job done. But the lesson can not be overlooked. Any work worth doing is worth doing right, and doing work right requires focus.
When I worked summers with my Dad, my job description was simple- keep what he needed ready at all times. “Poking lumber” meant sticking the 2×4 in the right place by the time he got to it with the nailer (pneumatic nail gun, for the uninitiated). Speaking of that, always keep a pouch full of sticks (rows of nails held together by wire that was loaded into said nailer) so Dad would have a reload when he ran out. Be prepared (Dad was a Boy Scout for a while) was the motto, be quick was the rule. A ready and able hand is always the best help a man can have.
A father and husband’s first duty is to his family. A former pastor and long-time mentor for my family, Rev. Travis Grimsley, reminded me once of when my family began attending his church, Faith Tabernacle United Pentecostal Church, in Jackson. Mom started attending and brought my brother and I with her. Dad had never attended church regularly; however, once we started attending Faith Tabernacle, Dad came along with us. Pastor Grimsley knew that the reason Dad began coming to church was to set a positive example for his sons- out of the duty of being a father, and the unity that a home required between a man and wife. Dad also confirmed this to me, and being just old enough to remember that time in our lives, I am able to appreciate it so much as a father and husband myself.
Dad did become a Spirit-filled Christian in a revival at Beech Bluff Pentecostal Church in 1993, several years after he began going to church with us. I remember this very well because I had become a Spirit-filled Christian in a youth camp the same summer. I never saw such excitement from my Dad as I did when he was baptized in the Holy Spirit and worshiped God with exuberance and joy. It was the best experience for him and my entire family. Being godly parents prepared my Mom and Dad for harsh challenges from me later in life when, as a teen, I rebelled and rejected godly instruction. From their example, and from my own early experiences as a father, I know that the only way to successfully raise children is to fear and love God, so as to provide a perfect example to your children.
What do you think? Have a story or quote of your own from your dad? Let me know in the comments and sign up for updates for the book, Building Dad!
Copyright (c) 2013 Glen Gaugh