Pastor Charlie Woodward, Epiphany Lutheran Church, Centerville, Ohio, shares these lessons from his father as part of a message for Father’s Day. As you think about Father’s Day wherever you are, do some of these ring true in your experience?
God bless you, fathers. God blessed you with an important responsibility, and for the love and nurturing you give, we thank you. I have heard some say that we shouldn’t talk too much about dads on Father’s Day, as it might bring up some bad memories of people’s past. I understand that. But I also feel it is important to remember the role and responsibility a parent has in raising a child. As a father, I will be first to admit I am not perfect, but I strive to do what God would want me to do and ask for forgiveness when I fall short. And I give thanks to God for giving me a role model – MY dad – so I can love my children as my dad loved us. While he was not perfect either, here are some things I learned from my dad.
Ten Lessons I Learned from Dad
- God comes first. Church is on Sunday, so you go. No questions asked.
- Order is better than chaos. My dad liked things in place, and there was a place for everything.
- Family is worth the work. Dad worked hard to provide for his family, and he took that responsibility seriously.
- It is good to laugh. While the man could never tell a joke without forgetting the punch line, he loved to laugh.
- Care of God’s creation is our responsibility. Dad loved to work in the garden and appreciated the beauty of flowers and plants.
- Never speak negatively about another. I truly cannot remember my father ever speaking negatively about a coworker, public figure, or friend. He was always more concerned about how he was perceived than how he perceived others.
- Love and honor your spouse. Dad treated Mom in a loving way, but was not overly demonstrative with words or actions. He was there for her, and always had her back.
- No matter what, your kids are YOUR kids.
- You don’t have to be in all the pictures – someone has to be the photographer.
- Love permeates everything.
We have a heavenly Father who loves us. God gives us parents who nurture us, raise us, and share God’s love with us. While not perfect (none of us are), God still entrusts parents to this role. Maybe the best lesson we can learn in our relationships within our family is forgiveness! As we have been forgiven, may we so forgive. As we have been loved, may we so love. Thank you, God, for these gifts!