Dads come in all sizes and flavors. Some are wise, some are faithful, and some are simply funny. I have been blessed to have a funny dad myself, and my husband was a wise one. I know. Father’s Day was in June, but it just evoked memories too good not to share.
When I was young, my dad had a country store and service station. He worked hard through the week but was always faithful to go to church. He led the music and was instrumental in helping young children learn to get before the public. He often would call some up to help him direct a song. After he would sit back down and the preacher would begin his sermon, dad would often doze off. Mom would have one of us girls to sit by him and punch him if he started drifting. It was my Sunday for the task, and I guess I wasn’t very alert to my job. The preacher was loudly proclaiming – “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Then he added, “There’s not a perfect man in this house. If there is, I’d just like for him to raise his hand.”
All Daddy heard was “Raise his hand.” He thought they were voting on something and raised his hand. Laughter rang out from all over the building. He was a funny man but was also faithful, as was my husband Steve.
When our boys were small, they went out in my dad’s muddy garden and stepped on every one of my dad’s young tomato plants, smashing them in the mud. Where I would just have gotten a keen switch and administered their “just desserts” right there, Steve was wiser. He always wanted the boys to understand fully why they were being punished. That day, he explained how hard Pop had worked to set the plants out, and now he would have to replant them. He questioned the boys one by one, from oldest to youngest. “Steve (Jr.), if you were the dad, what would you do?
“I would talk to them and tell them they would get a spanking if they ever did that again.”
“Scott, how about you?”
“Hmm. I don’t know.”
Shannon, who was about three-years-old at the time, answered, “Whip ‘em, I’d whip ‘em.”
Although Steve had difficulty keeping the grin off his face, he did what needed to be done. “I think I agree with Shannon. Boys, go get your switch.” They never stomped tomato plants again.
A friend, who has a precocious child, packed his daughter’s school lunch for her when her mother was ill. That afternoon, she asked her dad, “Do you not like kids?”
“Why would you ask that?” asked her mom.
“Well, you always pack a Capri Sun and candy, and Dad just packed water.” The tables were turned when the daughter went to the dentist and found she had cavities in all her new molars. I guess dads get it right sometimes.
Faithful fathers are so important to families and, subsequently, to our nation. Many take seriously the mandate to Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 28:6.
Let’s make July the month that we thank God for good dads and pray for those who aren’t.