Yesterday was Father’s Day and I am still blessed to have my father with us, in fact my parents live in our home. In thinking about the qualities that I most appreciate about my father, it is his faithful example of being a godly man that most stands out. He taught high school Biology for 40 years, 33 at Wheaton Central High School in Wheaton, Illinois, and after taking early retirement, he taught at a mission school in Taichung, Taiwan for 7 more years. He never lost his passion for teaching or his wonder at examining the uniqueness of God’s creation. My father was respected by his peers in education as well as his students. I know this because I attended the high school where my father taught. He has a natural ability to command respect in his quiet, but firm way.
When I was a junior in high school I tried out for the school musical, “Oklahoma.” I was thrilled to get the part of Aunt Eller! She was a feisty old lady, a part I could really get into! – until I read the script. She cussed! Those words jumped off the page at me and I knew deep down I couldn’t say them. I knew actresses are just ‘playing a part’ and that it wouldn’t be me saying those words but Aunt Eller; yet my overwhelming thought was ‘My father would be ashamed of me.’ I know he would see his daughter on stage, not some fictional character. I knew I had no choice. The next day I took the script to the director knowing that what I had to do might lose me the part. I showed the director, Mr. Schomas the page of dialogue and said “I can’t say those words.” If I’d said anything more I would have cried. He looked at me and replied “I know your father. Just say something else that you feel is in character.”
My father’s conduct in and out of the classroom was consistent. His fellow teachers saw that he lived what he preached and I was the beneficiary of that reputation. The thought of bringing shame to my father was of greater consequence to me then keeping a part in the play. Yet because he was respected, I was able to do both. The implications of the integrity of my father’s life continue to bless me to this day.
We know there are no spiritual grandchildren, yet I have inherited a rich treasure of spiritual ‘genes’ from my father. How much more our Heavenly Father wants us to be blessed by the spiritual treasures of our life as His children. He has SO MUCH to give us, yet we must be willing to receive from Him. Look at what Scripture says –
1 John 3: 1,2
1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.