We celebrated Father’s Day yesterday. Bob is preaching a funeral today and will be gone all day and most of the evening, so Robbie and I gave him his gifts then. We laughed at Robbie’s “gift-giving.” He looks forward to signing the card himself—with Mommy’s help, of course. He has finally learned to hold the pen himself, and after we carefully sign his name and write the other words, Mom turns him loose with the pen and he scribbles a “picture” on the envelope with much determination and gusto! When it came time to give Daddy his gifts, I put them in his lap and said, “Would you like to give Daddy his gifts, Robbie?” Of course, then he thought those colorful gift bags were for him, and he began pulling tissue paper out and peering inside the bags to see what treasures lay within! He was delighted with each gift he pulled out—patriotic t-shirts, a polo shirt, bags of chocolates and even a book! Just what he always wanted! Of course, then Daddy made it even more fun by doing a little tug-of-war to get his Father’s Day gifts away from Robbie!
I love honoring Bob for the wonderful father he is. There cannot be a better dad than he! Who else do you know that would gladly change diapers for 41 years??? He is Robbie’s best buddy, and selflessly and lovingly gives of himself every day for him—and all our children and grandchildren. He has been a godly example, as well, all these years and faithfully led his family in our walk with God. His life is an inspiration and blessing to us all.
Of course I cannot think about Father’s Day without remembering my own father who went to be with the Lord nine years ago this week. I was shopping for Father’s Day cards this week when a large section of cards labeled “To Dad from Your Daughter” caught my eye—and made me catch my breath. I watched as a pair of sisters browsed those cards and listened to their laughter and chatter, and for a few moments it hurt all over again—that I could not give my dad a Father’s Day card. I miss him and his unique laugh (HA!), the way he enjoyed his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the way he took care of my mother. I miss him quoting Romans 8:28 whenever problems came up, and singing “Victory in Jesus” and “Mansion over a Hilltop.” I am thankful, though, that he is safely in Heaven, enjoying its glories and being with his Savior and the loved ones who had gone before him.
I will be at our family reunion next weekend on the anniversary of his passing. It is always wonderful to gather at this biannual event with aunts and uncles, cousins and siblings, nieces and nephews for three or four days of fun, laughter and reminiscing. Being together like that helps us mark off the anniversary of Dad’s home-going more easily. It causes me, as well, to reflect on and be thankful for the spiritual heritage I share with most of my extended family through those who have gone before us who knew Christ and faithfully led each generation to know and love him as well. I reflect also on the legacy we are leaving behind us, praying that our future generations will follow us as we have followed Him. What a responsibility before God to pass on to our children and grandchildren and their children our testimony in word and deed, and a godly example for them to follow! Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.” The inheritance we leave may not be much in material wealth, but we pray it will be a legacy of great spiritual and eternal value that will influence each future generation for Him.
It is the Christian parent’s responsibility, whether we are fathers or mothers, to obey God when He says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) and “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 also tells us, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” We cannot choose Christ for our children and grandchildren—each person must make that decision for himself—but if we are faithful in teaching and nurturing them for the Lord, we will most likely have the joy of seeing them accept His salvation for themselves. Psalm 103:17 says, “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.”
The reunion that is to come in Heaven someday—what joy when we are reunited with those who have gone before us and those who follow in our footsteps! I am eager to see my dad again, but I will be thrilled to see my great-great-great-great-grandchildren, as well! Thanks be to God Who makes it all possible through His Son Jesus Christ!
NOTE: There will be no Sundays with Cindy next week as I will be at the Ward Family Reunion!