"Fathers, do not exasperate your children;
Last month I wrote in this column about my precious mother. This month, in honor of Father's Day, I want to continue with chapter two and tell you about my Dad. But first, let me ask a question: What makes a man a good father and/or husband? Is it a man who provides for his family, or a man who is never unfaithful? Certainly these would be factors, but not the entire definition. I think in addition to these things, a good father is one who is obedient to God's Word, who puts the needs of his wife and children above his own, and who gives his time unselfishly to his family. This describes my Dad.
As I wrote last month about the numerous times Mother and Dad gave themselves to help others in time of need, I mentioned my son. s hospital stay. Not only did Dad spend every week night at the hospital caring for my ten-year old who was in traction, but every weekend he made the 60-mile voyage home to do the necessary chores around the house. That usually made for a pretty full Saturday, because Sundays were always reserved for church. Then it was back to the hospital on Sunday evening by 9:00 to relieve me. The time he gave during this period was of great help to my family, yet there is one incident where Dad gave of himself to help me as well as strangers.
I was about to begin my senior year in high school when we received word that the government had issued a plan for school bussing by "zones they had created." This plan would mean that I (and many of my friends) would spend our last year of school in a strange place having to adjust to new surroundings as well as new people and traditions. But my Dad and several other parents formed a group called Concerned Parents for Education and fought for our right to choose where we would attend school. Dad made arrangements at work where he could come to the school every morning and stay there long enough to be assured that we could go to classes unhindered. After several weeks the zones were re-adjusted so many of the students, including myself, were no longer affected. However, some were still being told they could not attend school with us. So some of the parents "adopted" children by signing papers accepting legal responsibility for them. My Dad "adopted" two girls he didn't really know just so they could have the freedom to attend the school of their choice.
Dad has always been one who gives unselfishly of himself. I can recall numerous times when he would donate his time and talents to help someone in need, whether it was repairing some appliance for an elderly person, doing construction or repair at the church, or simply helping his children or grandchildren with a project. And last fall, after Mother had her stroke, Dad showed how willing he was to take on new responsibilities when needed. While Mother was unable to do the things she was accustomed to, Dad stepped right in and did the cooking and cleaning, as well as most of his other chores and taking Mother to the therapy sessions several times a week. Dad has not stopped with just home and community involvement. For as long as I can remember, Dad has been actively involved in church work, serving as deacon, Sunday School director, Training Director, Church Treasurer and on numerous committees. When he retired and moved to his lake house fourteen years ago, he was soon actively involved in his new church home doing many of the same things.
So I want to say "Thank you, Dad," for giving of yourself and for being such an excellent example of what a husband and father should really be. Happy Father's Day - I love you!