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Two years into this fatherhood thing, and I have it all figured out. Not exactly.
In reality, I’m in more over my head today than I was on February 22, 2014 – when I became a dad myself. Life is crazy. Life is fast. And life doesn’t seem to stop, to let me think and get it right the first time. Instead, life seems to be series of mistakes that I somehow learn from. But I’m writing all this to you and you’re nodding your head, because you’ve already been there – with me.
I just finished sharing a Father’s Day sermon that I titled: “Going the Distance.” Jesus said that the narrow path is difficult to find and hard to pursue, but that journey leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14). I’ll be honest, it wasn’t difficult to think of ways you’ve gone the distance as a dad. Here are some of things I’ve learned from your influence in my life:
Being happy and content is a choice worth making.
I’m going to be honest – it sometimes makes me sick how happy you are. There were times (ie. during your knee replacement) that I just wanted to tell you, “You can be upset if you want to be…you’re allowed…you don’t have to smile if you knee is every shade of blue, red and purple.” But with every simile and decision to see the positive, I slowly learned (and probably still learning) that being happy and content is a choice not a reaction. Life isn’t always perfect, but with God, we can be perfectly content.
Parenthood is really servanthood.
I’m humbly living this one every day. I look back at my childhood and I can’t remember lacking anything, and yet you went back to school later in life and money was clearly tight. I remember being frustrated with so many little things, and yet you provided in ways that made my life easier and your life a little harder. Everything from turning down career advancements to helping pay for my education. Time and time again, you thought of me before yourself – it’s a godly principle of selflessness. I’m now a dad to a little girl, who I love dearly, and I’m learning that parenting is really about serving. Your godly example is what I have to follow.
Respect is difficult to teach, but vital in life.
I know you probably said, “Listen to your mother” more than you wanted, but I learned the importance of respecting those around me – especially women. Truth be told, I probably never quite understood that until I had a daughter. Mom was outnumbered, three to one growing up, so family dynamics were slightly different. I’m already outnumbered, so you can tell mom the tide has turned! All joking aside, you’re desire to teach respect has instilled much value in me to be an example for my daughter as she learns what to expect from the future men in her life.
I could list more, but this summarizes you well. Thanks for “going the distance,” and finding and choosing the narrow path. I’m proud to call you dad and I’m even prouder to know your influence on me will impact how I parent my daughter and future children.
Thanks dad! Happy Father’s Day!
What have you learned from your dad? …if you can, give him a call.
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