“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”
~ Ephesians 6:4
My all time favorite movie, Gladiator, begins with this epic battle scene, in which we see Maximus riding a horse before his men who are about to enter the battle yelling out, “Hold the Line! Stay with me!” A reminder to them to stay steady, trust their training, trust their plan, don’t waiver or give up. As I thought about writing something for Fathers Day, this scene popped into my head, you see in my life my dad has played the role of Maximus, always reminding me to “hold the line!”
Through the years this has played out in various different ways, most recently as I went through a season in my life where I found myself unemployed for several months, my dad was the constant in my life reminding me daily that everything we face and go through is all prep work. Whatever we face the Lord is teaching us something and preparing us for something in the future. My dad would also constantly tell me this season is rough, but learn what the Lord is trying to teach you, or you may have to go through it again.
I have learned so much from him, here are a few things I am thankful for this Fathers Day:
- How to be a Man of God – My dad is one of the most Godly men I know, and I have seen over 33 years that this isn’t an act, the man you see at church, work or where ever is the same man I saw at home. I have seen him spend time on his knees before the Lord, I have seen him bypass lesser things to spend time in God’s Word preparing to preach.
- How to be a Godly Husband and Father – When I read in the Word of God what the Lord would call a man to be as a husband and father and examine my dad’s life, it lines up.
- How to Work Hard – My dad is one of the hardest workers I know. Between working at a refinery, being a pastor and also having lawn care business, he is always going and working, and willing to help anyone out who may need it.
- How to Set Priorities – In a day in age when we are all being pulled in a million different directions, and priorities are always changing, I have seen my dad set the Lord as priority over everything in our families life and that has remained constant. Sometimes that meant driving over an hour to church on Sundays and Wednesdays (even if a school night) and never missing. Sometimes that meant if I was playing in a sport and practice or a game was scheduled on Wednesday or Sunday that I was going to miss, and this wouldn’t be discussed. All these years later I don’t remember missing practice or games, but I remember that the Lord was priority over all in our families house, and for that I am thankful.
- How to Faithfully Love and Shepherd a Flock – For a majority of my life my dad has played some role in ministry, as my youth pastor and for the past 11 years as a pastor. And in this I have seen him faithfully love the flock the Lord has placed before him. I have seen him weep over them, pray over them, proclaim the truth to them. To be bold and take stands because that’s what the Word would call him to do; and to spend time alone with the Lord to be refueled to pour himself out all over again. And in this he has also taught me that we are all a small part of the Lord’s greater flock. To remember this and pray for those of other churches and celebrate what the Lord is doing in their midst as well as ours.
Through the ups and downs of life, my dad has always been that constant voice of encouragement to me, always pointing me towards Christ, and for that I am thankful. Happy Fathers Day!
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