Just call me “dad.”
Like you, I’ve been called many names in my lifetime – some good, some not-so-good. By far, my favorite name is just “dad.” My kids are in their thirties and forties now; they still call me “dad.” I love it to the point of tears in my eyes. Certainly “dad” was one of the greatest creations God ever made. He role-modeled it well himself.
My dad was a man’s man. He fought in World War II by teaching hand-to-hand combat to our soldiers who traveled overseas to fight man-on-man battles. We never crossed our dad, and we certainly never crossed our mom!!!
We grew up in a small racially-divided community in Texas, but our home was not racially-divided. One of my dad’s best friends was Eddie Chew, an elderly African-American man who served as a custodian at Texas A&M where my dad served as Assistant Dean of Student Activities and Intramural Athletics.
Every Monday and Friday morning during our family breakfast, four African-American men would come to our back door to empty our garbage cans for the city. My dad would always get up from the table and take a hot cup of coffee, and often a biscuit or hot roll, to have breakfast outside with his four friends. I’m sure they’re still having fellowship together in Heaven today.
Dad made about $3,000 a year, yet he would often come home without his jacket or his boots or his sweater. Mom never asked him what happened to his outerwear. She already knew the answer. Dad would see Eddie or another of his friends in need and humbly walk home in his socks or T-shirt.
My dad bragged on my mom until the day he died. He wrote her love notes almost daily. At age 88, after his stroke, he couldn’t say, “I love you, baby” any longer to his wife of 66 years, but he kept on writing it down for her on an old yellow legal pad he kept in his lap until just a few days before he took his last breath.
The impact of our words over our wives and kids may never be measured. There is even so much power in the simple phrase, “I’m sorry honey.” I wonder how many wives and children need to hear that today. As the head of your household, you have the opportunity to shape the culture in your home. I am praying that the White House culture is one of respect and love for one another.
My daddy’s faith was as pure as it was simple. I don’t remember any sermons from my dad on prayer, but I’ll never forget walking down the hallway past his bedroom and seeing him on his knees night after night talking to his Savior whom he loved so dearly.
Dad was my biggest encourager, my biggest fan and my best friend. When I was 24, he told me that I was only limited by my energy and imagination. His words continue to propel me to this day.
Happy Father’s Day. Your kids are lucky to have a dad like you.
P.S. My dad’s favorite poem defined his life. I hope you’ll be encouraged by it too.
I’d Rather See A Sermon
by Edgar A. Guest
I’d rather see a sermon
than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil
and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
but example’s always clear;
And the best of all preachers
are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it
if you’ll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action,
but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver
may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons
by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you
and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.