Skip to main content

All Day, Every Day…

Today is Father’s Day, 2024. Since the death of Janet’s father 11 years ago, I have assumed the role of the patriarch of the family. Nothing brings that more into focus than our Father’s Day celebration each year. And while one of our kids or grandchildren usually says grace before our meals when we all get together during Christmas and countless other times throughout the year, the expectation is that I will offer the prayer on Father’s Day.

In a way, it is a sign of respect. I used to pray before dinner each time we got together but I thought it would be helpful for the kids to learn to pray out loud and so we ask for volunteers and if nobody steps up, well, then I pick someone. All our kids and grandchildren have become comfortable praying in public and it is expected that when we all get together, we give thanks for the blessings that have been bestowed on our family. But Father’s Day and sometimes Thanksgiving are different. Those are my times to pray.

Oddly, I was raised by my maternal grandfather to eventually become the family patriarch. From the time that I was a very little guy. Back then, nobody knew that Dad would pass away at age 55 and that I would been thrown into the position of leader of the family at such a young age. It was a position that I felt ill prepared for and I admittedly, for years, subordinated myself to Janet’s Dad, who I have known since I was 5 or 6.

He taught me as much about leadership and being a role model for the family as my grandfather and Dad did. It was a gift, a real blessing that I was able to spend so many years with him. I probably wasn’t ready to lead when I was 25, as I look back on it. I made mistakes and it was a big responsibility to take care of the family. Adding grandchildren only made the job more difficult.

Now, it’s second nature to me. I have been in the role long enough that I have learned some of the ins and outs of dealing with individuals who God wired differently from one another. My relationship with each member of our family is quite different. They each have special areas of interest and seek my counsel in various ways. And while I used to think that parenting was more important when children were younger, I have found quite the opposite. Kids never stop depending on parents as role models and sounding boards as they move through life.

Janet and I are fortunate and blessed that we are healthy and can provide support and encouragement for each member of our family – and will continue to do so as long as God allows us to live. What is so gratifying is that our family members are interdependent by choice and not co-dependent by necessity. It is the best of all worlds. A God centered family that celebrates our various strengths and God given gifts.

Throughout the years, I have come to realize that my role, and Janet’s role, are all day, every day responsibilities. We are the anchors of the family. And that won’t change, at least while we are still here. Then, the baton will be passed to the next generation and we will await their entrance into heaven years from now as the succeeding generations age and mature.

In a much more meaningful and important way, the role of ultimate Patriarch belongs to God. And it also occurs to me that as we age, it is even more important that we come to our Heavenly Father for His divine wisdom and guidance. Just as we realize that our responsibilities as parents and role models to not diminish with age, so we must also acknowledge that we need God even more than we did when we were younger. We still need our Patriarch, with the caveat that He will reign forever. And, of course, He does the job perfectly!

Our verse for tonight comes from the apostle Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Paul tells his church in Corinth, and us, in 2 Corinthians 6:18, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” There is no greater joy than to be adopted as sons and daughters of the most high God.

My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to treat Him as a loving Father and expects us to be great role models for our own families. My prayer is that we will do our best, all day, every day, to be the best we can be in raising the next generations. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

Leave a Reply