The Tale of Two Fathers
By Jackie Stetser and Taffi Wallis
Dads are as diverse as the sons and daughters that they love. Some fathers are with us all of our lives, and others are with us for a few brief years. Here is the story of two fathers that influenced the lives of their children in wonderful ways.
My Daddy’s words, “Every day is Children’s Day at our house!” bring back the happiest of memories. Many days when Dad came home, all six kids would come from the far corners of our home to greet him. He was always happy to see us. I can’t remember one time when my father stayed mad at any of his children.
My father is forever my hero. Once when I was three, I fell out of our rowboat, and he saved my life. Along with my mom, he taught me to walk, to ride a bike, to drive a car and to find my way in this world. I am convinced that he loved my mom and all of us kids more than anything else on earth. He put the needs of his family ahead of his own needs.
Eighteen, sixteen and five, the ages my brothers and I were when our father passed away. The year was 1959. Being the only girl and the youngest, I certainly didn’t have the opportunity to know him like my brothers had. The stories that were shared have enlightened me to who he truly was. My brother’s stories told me of Dad and Mom and their love for each of us. The fact that both our parents were Christians, and Dad accepting the Lord into his heart only a short time before he died, has always given each of us an assurance of grace and love. Knowing that all this was brought on by the commitment our parents made to each other and to God. After Dad’s passing, things were difficult. Mom became depressed, and needed some time to grieve. It took her a good year to get all the help she needed to get back on track and so uncles, aunts and grandparents came to our rescue as family did back then. To me, my oldest brother was my rock! Even when he had entered the seminary to become a minister, he stayed connected as the "Dad" I knew of and always respected. He would write, call and visit even while he was busy doing God's work. When he married and the children came, I would visit and stay with them. He would say I needed to be strong, to stand up to the issues at hand and remember that God would always be near. He was right! He continues to live his life as an example of a wonderful father to his children and always to me!
In spite of their faults, a good father can teach us a lot about our Heavenly Father by their protective love and gentle guidance. This guidance is what corrects children when they go astray. He loves us with an everlasting love. His love will outlast our confusion, frustration and rebellion. God is better to us than any earthly dad could ever be. He answers the cry of our heart and gives us what is best for us. In the Father’s House, every day is Children’s Day!
Let’s strive to make every day Father’s Day in our homes. Both good dads and our Father in Heaven deserve to be honored. It has been said that a child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father.