Thursday, May 31, 2007

Honor your father and mother

This is a picture of my Dad and for his birthday a couple of years ago he and I went to a music festival and just had a great Father/Son day together. A day I will never forget!

I know Father's Day is a couple of weeks away yet, but since I will be out of pocket the week of Fathers Day, I thought I'd write what I wanted to say today. Before I go on about my Dad, I must say that my Mom is the best. She was always there for me, always encouraging me, she was full of love for the three of us kids and she was so much fun to be with, especially as we watched TV shows in the evening after Dad went to bed. He had to get up so early in the morning that he was always in bed by 8:00pm. My mom and Dad were model examples of two people that loved and cared for their children and each other and my life has been molded by them. I'm forever grateful for that. I guess the reason I wanted to talk about my Dad though is because as a Husband and Father myself, I owe so much to the example my father gave me in living my life. I often thank God for my Dad and my wonderful relationship that I have with him. Even though we live several states away now, we still stay in touch as often as we can and that's important to me.

My Dad is an incredible man. A loving husband to my Mom. He is and always was a fantastic example for me as a son to imitate in the way I treat my wife in my own marriage. I'm also amazed at the things I do now in my life because I learned them from watching my Dad. He always taught me to respect elders (that's anyone older than myself, and I remember as a teenager, well, that was just about everybody!) He taught me to work hard and earn your living. I remember complaining one time about being paid only 75 cents an hour dish washing at a restaurant. He got upset with me and told me that I have two choices to make here. He said that I made a commitment to my boss to give it 100% for that 75 cents and he reminded me that I was pretty happy about that 75 cents when I started work there. So he told me to give it my best and follow through with my commitment or quit. Those were my two choices. Well he was right, I did stick with it for quite a while and then finally found something that paid better. But to this day I remember his words about work ethic and commitment.
He always enjoyed being with his family. He'd work hard in the yard and around the house and us kids were always given jobs to do helping with the yard work or whatever needed to be done. I learned how to work hard from watching how hard he would work. I learned how to respect people by watching him be respectful to everyone he met. During his vacation time in the summer, he'd always work in the wheat fields during the harvest and this extra job would help our family make ends meet.
He loved to watch us kids play sports, especially when I played baseball or my sisters played softball. These were always great times to be together as a family.
He taught me how to drive (even after I ran us into the ditch learning.) He could fix anything, he was good with his hands and he was always the smartest man I knew. Even today I'll call him up and ask him questions if I'm not sure why something works a certain way. He's a simple man, and I love that. He's humble and when you are around him, you are happy. You know, I could go on and on about my Dad because he's influenced me so much and I really can't appreciate him enough.
In a few weeks I get to travel back home and visit my Mom and Dad. As much as I hate living so far away from them, I guess it makes the visits back home much more meaningful to me because they are far and few between.

I'm reminded of a verse...

Ephesians 6:2-3, (2)"Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment with a promise: (3)If you honor your father and mother, "things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on earth."

I hope you too have had a similar kind of relationship with your parents as I've had with mine. If you can, let them know how much you love them. If you were like me growing up, I'm sure your parents had the challenge of their life raising you. I know mine did with me. My respect for them grows more and more each year because I now have a better understanding of their love for me as I have experienced my love for my own children as they have grown. All I can say is thank You Lord, for my Dad and my Mom. I want to always honor them both as long as I live. I guess the best way to do that would be to live the way I was taught. After all, I had the best example ever!

Thanks Dad and Mom. Thanks so much!