My father’s name was Neville. He was a tall man. A strong man. He was the head of my family of four. He was a plumber and he was the best at what he did. One day, this man of valour and invincibility began his mortal decline: he received a medical diagnosis that shook our world, one that eventually claimed his life, and my life has not since been the same. I was sixteen years old when he left. He was only 51.
Many years have passed, and his memory still lives pleasantly in my mind. Although I still miss him, I no longer mourn for him. Do you know why? Well, it’s because I’ve found the love of the One who has loved me long before. You see, as a little child my Dad would sing Sunday school hymns to me every night, just to put me to sleep. He would lead every family prayer and he insisted that my brother and I knew who our true Father was. He led my family in prayer just a few hours before his time on the earth ended. What gives me peace in the memory of his life is the fact that he took the time to introduce us to the man who was always our Father. The One who knew us before we were even born. The One who is indeed immortal and can never ever leave. My Dad introduced his children to Jesus Christ, and of all of the gifts that he could ever have given to us, this one was the most precious. This one was the most valuable.
To every father reading this, you never know the impact that you’re having on your children by not only being there for them, but by being the man who God has called you to be. After God, you are the head of your home, and as I’ve learned from my earthly father, you are their example of what a real man is. So let me encourage you to be the demonstration of love and leadership that they will follow for the rest of their lives. Show them the humility, integrity and honour that it takes to be Christ-like, and what it means to be a man of God. Sing with them, read the Holy Scriptures with them, and teach them how to pray. Most importantly, teach your children about their Heavenly Father, so that long after you are gone, they will know the unending love of the One who made them. And they will know how to love Him in return.
I’ve learned in my life that the time on this earth is fleeting, and that no one stays in your life permanently. Whether through times and seasons or otherwise, when our time to play a part in someone else’s life is complete, we part ways and continue along our respective journeys. Our human responsibilities have their limit. But God? He never leaves, and He never changes. He is the Father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5), and He comforts the hearts that mourn (Psalm 34:18). He is with us from the first to the last breath and beyond. The best gift that any father can give to his children, is to teach them about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a gift that will be with them for life.
So hats off to you, Daddy. God chose the right man, and you did a great job with the time that you had. And to my precious Lord Jesus, You’re the best that I could have ever hoped for. Thank You for being my Father.