Posts tagged honoring father

Honor Dad for who he is, not what he isn’t



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Hey dads. I want to honor you. And I want to encourage you to honor your father.  Imperfect, good or bad, we all need to honor our dads, and we all need to grow as fathers.

KempJeffJackScoreboardMy dad, Jack Kemp, was a really good dad; he had some phenomenal traits. But he had some gaps, too. The good part of my dad was that he was a great hugger and kisser, he always told us he loved us. He wrote us notes all the time, he affirmed our identity. And he gave us great vision for life and was always encouraging us.

He wasn’t so good—in fact he wasn’t good at all—when it came to talking to me about the intimate things of sex and temptation. He wasn’t that good at admitting his faults; he didn’t really apologize well, particularly to my mom. And he didn’t know how to do anything around the house, or at least he didn’t help out much around the house. But, still, I honor my dad and I got so much from him.

And you know what? I have my strong and weak points as a father, too.

I’m good at some parts of fathering but not so good at remembering things. I’m not that good in some areas of listening, because I keep interrupting my kids too much. I’m intentional, but I’m overboard sometimes. But I always want to learn to be a better dad.

Get started. Honor dad. Be an honorable dad.

Honor your dad, and be the best dad you can be. For some of you that may be hard. Maybe you feel like you failed as a father, or maybe you had a father who failed you in so many ways.

Dads, I want to thank and encourage you. Don’t beat yourself up over the past. Decide to do your best from this day forward. Try this game plan. First, realize that your imperfect dad probably did the best he could with what he had. Set yourself free and forgive Him.

Next, remember you have a perfect heavenly father, who’s love for you is so radical and unconditional that He sacrificed His perfect Son to pay the death penalty that you and I deserve. Accept that love. Now, start the healing with your dad if he’s alive. Ignore your dad’s faults and initiate an apology to him. Don’t expect any apology in return. Next, apologize to your kids for where you have fallen short or missed the mark as a their dad.

Maybe you haven’t been present or been engaged. Maybe you haven’t been transparent or honest with them. Maybe you haven’t hugged and said “I love you” much.

Maybe you haven’t given the boundaries and training and protection your sons or daughters needed. Tell them your faults. Tell them your love. Start to do your best, today. You are the best dad in the world to your child…from this day forward.

Here’s my encouragement and my challenge: Be the best dad you can be; honor your own father and forgive him in any area where he wasn’t perfect.  And let’s keep growing as dads and make this thing about fatherhood not just a one-day celebration on the third Sunday in June, but a 365-day-a-year thing.

© 2015 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

STEPSeek - 10-point checklistYou just finished reading “Honor Dad for what he is… not what he isn’t” on the Stepping Up men’s blog

STEPThink - 10-point checklist“How Can You Honor Your Parents When You Feel They Don’t Deserve It?” Read this article from FamilyLife.com

STEPEmbrace - 10-point checklistHear how Freddie Scott II, another NFL son, chose to honor his father and become “The Dad I Wish I Had.”

STEPPass - 10-point checklistGet together with some guys, your teen or older son and go through Stepping Up, The Call to Courageous Manhood

If you had an hour to live



It seems like yesterday, but it was 12 long years ago that my Pappa, James Melvin “Bucky” Waters, passed away.

JoelWatersPappa

“Bucky” Waters and son Joel with their World Series tickets

Pappa was from a very large and athletic family, raised on a working farm in rural Yazoo County, Mississippi. Growing up, my two other brothers, Jim and Wyatt, and I watched Momma and Pappa model for us how a loving couple should act. In the early 1960s we lived in the small town of Florence, where Pappa was the coach and principal of the school and my Momma, Lucy, worked also.

It was a beautiful spring day. Pappa was outside raking up the leaves from the recent winter into the ditch to burn. He was also trying to get rid of the fire ant beds that had popped up from a hard rain overnight. The way we did it in those days was to pour gasoline on the fire ant bed, toss a match on it and run out of the way of the flames.

On this particular day, I was supposed to be inside with my Momma. But being the rambunctious two-year-old that I was, I had slipped out and was standing mesmerized, watching my Pappa burn those fire ants without him knowing I was there.  I got too close and caught fire myself. Without thinking of himself, Pappa instantly went into the fire and rescued me, but in the process of  getting me out of the fire he was badly burned. It’s one thing to say you love someone.  It’s a powerful lesson to have someone show their love in such a way!

Our house was on a short, dead-end road, so not many people drove down there unless they were visiting someone. I honestly believe that Harold Lusk was an “angel” sent directly from God as he drove down and saw the commotion. He immediately went into action, taking my Pappa and me to O.E. Perry’s Rexall Drug Store for some immediate help, then on to the Baptist hospital in Jackson another 20 minutes away. It would be the beginning of several painful months of multiple surgeries for the both of us. My Pappa’s hands were badly burned. In addition to my internal burns, I had third degree burns mostly from my waist up, requiring many surgeries and skin grafts over the next 14 years.

As a boy I remember it as a very hard and trying time of adversity for me and my family. As a father now, I can only imagine the pain and grief my Pappa felt. It was also a lonely time for my brothers who went to live with my grandmother way down in Hattiesburg while my Momma stayed to care for us in the hospital. But through the pain came an awesome blessing as I was raised to believe that God had saved me, and that He had saved me for a reason – something I believed with all my heart!

Fast forward to a single moment in 1999. I was at home reading a message in the church bulletin by John Case, my pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson. The message was short, simple, to the point. It said:

IF YOU HAD AN HOUR TO LIVE …
Who would you call?
What would you say? and,
WHY HAVEN’T YOU SAID IT?

That simple message touched me as I thought back to that life-altering moment decades earlier. So I sat down and wrote my Pappa a two-page letter telling him how much I loved him, how much I respected him and how I appreciated the way he and my Momma had raised us. I told him that I hoped to be as good a husband and father to my family as he had been to us. Pappa was a man of few words – putting that love into words was not something that was required in those days. But I knew he loved me by the way he treated me. His actions spoke.

For some reason I felt the urgency to get the letter in the mail that day. The carrier had already come, so I drove to the main post office downtown and put the letter in the drop box. My father got that letter in the mail the next day and read it. I know this because my Momma called me and said that was a nice letter that I had written, subtly pointing out that it was addressed just to Pappa. I told her I felt the need to write Pappa and share with him these things, and that seemed to satisfy her curiosity as to why I hadn’t included her.

The next morning Pappa had a massive stroke that left him unable to talk for the rest of his life.  But I felt that I had been blessed by God by acting on His message and writing that letter to Pappa. It gave me the strength to go on during those final two long and trying years of his life. Often I wish I could talk with Pappa just one more time, but I feel so blessed to know that I shared with him how much he meant to me, how much he has molded me and how much I loved him. I can’t imagine what I would have been feeling if I hadn’t.

I have a favorite saying that guides my life and actions: “What’s it all about? LOVE!” Share and show your love for others! Please, take the time right now to let those special people in your life know how you feel. You never, ever know if  you will have that opportunity to do it again. ForgottenCommandment

Carpe diem … seize the day!

 

If you’d like to know how to do a tribute to a parent like Joel did, check out The Forgotten Commandment by Dennis Rainey. This FamilyLife resource will walk you through the process of honoring dad or mom in a special way.

Joel Waters has carried on the athletic and parenting legacy of his father. He played baseball at the University of Southern Mississippi and lives in Jackson where he attends Christ United Methodist Church. He has been married to Susan Steel Waters for 32 years and their children are Sam, Swayze (kicker-punter for the Toronto Argonauts) and his wife Kendal, and Shelby Waters.

We can do better than TV dads like Homer Simpson



TV Dads | Stepping Up | FamilyLife | Tribute to Dad

Homer Simpson … Peter Griffin … Ted Mosby … Stan Smith … Phil Dunphy … Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor … Cliff Huxtable. What do all these have in common? They are TV dads.  And most of them are not the kind of man who should be left to lead a family. From being dim-witted to overbearing, from conservative values to trying to get their son to have sex for the first time, these dads represent various aspects of what our culture thinks of and imagines when it comes to representing fatherhood in America.  Some of them represented the honorable and virtuous aspects of fatherhood but a majority of them characterized dads as out of touch, less intelligent than their wives, unable to control their children, laughable, and almost a detriment to the family. We also don’t pretend that Father Knows Best is the perfect model for fatherhood either. But, let’s face it, dads haven’t gotten the “good nod” when it comes to on-screen representation.

Unfortunately, the attributes that are hyperbolized in fatherhood are too evident in reality in too many homes around this nation. One thing that can be said about every dad on the list above is that at least they were there, at home with their families. But are these the kinds of characters we want to emulate? No, of course not. Despite television’s attempt to reduce dads to lying, cheating, lazy, harmless, or harmful oafs, we know that there are many, many dads that love and lead (or have loved and led) their families well. Stephen Colbert states it as it is:

“America used to live by the motto “Father Knows Best.” Now we’re lucky if “Father Knows He Has Children.” We’ve become a nation of sperm donors and baby daddies.”
― Stephen ColbertI am America

We are tired of seeing dads beaten down and portrayed as buffoons or, at best, inconsequential. We want to raise up a generation of men who believe that being a man of God, a husband to one wife, a leader of integrity and moral character in his church and community, a great friend to other men and a caring and intentional father is noble and worth pursuing with every ounce of his being.

So, here’s our plan over the next 10 days as we head into Father’s Day on June 16.  We are going to honor dads who have done it well. Not perfectly. Not completely. Not so they would get recognized. We will be sharing a number of tributes that various people have written to their fathers over the past few years and that have been published on FamilyLife.com. And, we’ll share Dennis Rainey’s tribute to his father, “Hook” Rainey on Father’s Day. Also, if you have a tribute that you want to give to your father, would you share it in the comments below or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mensteppingup.  We’ll collect those and put them into a post as well, and you might be able to share it with your father as a surprise tribute!

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In his book, The Forgotten Commandment, Dennis Rainey encourages readers to write a formal tribute to their parents and present it to them during a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc.). Following are examples of a tribute. Click here for more information on honoring your parents and for more tribute examples.

Tributes to Stanley Overby, Jr., from his sons, Spencer and Steve:

A dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall but instead picks you up, brushes you off, and lets you try again. A dad is someone who wants to keep you from making mistakes but instead lets you find your own way, even though his heart breaks in silence when you get hurt. A dad is someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you succeed, and has faith in you even when you fail … my Dad is everything a dad should be and then some.

Dear Dad,

I believe that something store-bought is not worth half as much as things made from the heart. So for your 75th birthday I sit here and recall all the things you have done for me, and the things we have done together, and I find the list really long.

When I close my eyes, I can still see you caring and taking Tina to the vet shaking, and making popcorn, the family car trips, and you dropping me off at Aunt Gene’s, me throwing up in your new ’66 LTD, and you yelling “get that kid out of my car.” I remember going to work with you at the factory riding in a big truck. Learning how to have a tab and order Shirley Temples. I remember you never spanking me, learning how to play golf as a family, breaking Steve’s black stick horse, sharing anchovy pizza, building slot cars with a broken hand, stripping furniture and finding coins. I remember making furniture in the garage, getting a trash can for Christmas, taking care of your mother, building a fort, ripping up Steve’s new tennis shoes because Mom was crying, picking up all the bats and leaving Little League practice. I remember your going to Promise Keepers with Steve and I and celebrating our Lord together, your being the best man in my wedding and your teaching me that nothing comes between you and your wife. I could go on and on. It’s funny, the older you get the more vivid your childhood memories become. The older I get the more I long for those carefree childhood days when all was good and the only worry was if Dad was going to beat me at cribbage after dinner.

These are abridged excerpts. READ BOTH OF THE ENTIRE TRIBUTES AT FAMILYLIFE.COM   READ MORE »

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