Today is Father’s Day, and I couldn’t help but take a moment to reflect on why I’m thankful for my dad. Here are the big values and investments that resonate in my life on a daily basis:
1. He loves Jesus and truly committed himself to Christ. In 1977 when my dad and mom stepped forward in a church in Roswell, GA during a Ron Comfort revival meeting, our family was changed forever. That day, Dad rededicated himself to Christ, and it was the best single decision made in our family for three generations (or more.) That one decision has resulted in decades of blessings upon dozens of lives (if not hundreds…) From that day forward, my dad has been a man growing in grace, walking with God, and serving Jesus. Perfect—no. But committed and faithful—yes!
2. He loves Mom and truly committed his life to her. I believe faithfulness to Jesus, to marriage, and to family is the greatest single gift a man can give. I am abundantly blessed because my dad stayed. In a generation when lots of men loved success, money, and pleasure more than family, dad defied the odds and built a family—a strong, close, loving family. He worked hard, provided well, and loved us genuinely. And through it all, he stayed.
3. He loves having a good time with us kids. A huge part of my Dad never really grew up. He’s always loved to play and laugh. And he made growing up around him and Mom lots of fun! I think he saw work as a “necessary evil” in order to pay for all the good times we had as a family. Summer vacations, Disney World, day trips, football in the park, skiing, cross-country adventures—there are more fun moments than I can possibly recall. Dad and Mom were our best friends growing up. Sure we had friends at school and church, and our friends often wondered why we liked our parents so much. Given the choice, we would almost always choose to spend time with Dad and Mom. They were the most fun people we knew!
4. He loves the church, the Word, and the service of Christ. One of the greatest things my dad ever did for our family was place us into a strong, healthy local church family three times or more per week. A healthy church made a massive difference in our lives and home. We saw real faith and a biblical, balanced model of Christianity. We grew through solid preaching and teaching. Beyond that, Dad served God—he taught Sunday school, led children’s church, invested into teens and singles, and generally served God in any way he could. Mom did too—always displaying a servant’s heart and hospitable spirit with church family and guests. We grew up in a home that loved church, loved God’s people, and loved serving.
5. He has always been my greatest counselor and mentor. Over the years, God has led us apart geographically. We’ve not lived within 1,000 miles of each other since I was 19. But always at the right moment and in the right way, Dad says something I need to hear. Over the years, if I have been drawn toward an imbalance in life or ministry, Dad cautions with wisdom and insight. When it came to God’s call to pastor, Dad was more ready to believe and encourage than just about anyone else. His timely and well-spoken wisdom has proven invaluable hundreds of times over the years.
Obviously, this is the short list. I could write a book on the good model that my dad gave us as a family.
There’s one primary reason that I love Jesus today! My Dad did a good job of introducing me to Him and showing His heart…
Dad, thank you for being a good man, a godly man, a great dad, and a great husband for 44 years! I love you and cherish all that you have given to me!
Happy Father’s Day!