“Reflections of a Father’s Love” by Rod Robison, Board Chairman
I would never have thought that a funeral could be the setting for a valuable lesson in child-rearing. I attended a service for a co-worker’s forty-eight-year-old husband who had died of cancer just days after being diagnosed. The man was deeply loved by friends and family and highly respected in the community. The church was nearly full.
Toward the end of the service, the man’s nineteen-year-old son, Jeff, rose to present the eulogy. Choking back bitter tears, the young man shared with us how his dad had poured himself into his son for nearly two decades. When there was a school sporting event, Dad was there. When homework seemed too challenging, Dad always had time to help. When life threw difficult questions across his path, Dad always seemed to have the answer. Instead of watching TV all evening, his dad gave of his time, treasure, and wisdom to help his children grow spiritually, intellectually, and physically.
Jeff told of the countless hours his father invested in practicing side by side with him as he grew to love sports. He confessed that, even though he sometimes resented his dad “pushing” him to excel, he now looked back with a deep appreciation for what the molding process had produced in his life—a reflection of his father’s love.
Toward the end of his tribute, Jeff’s voice broke, and he paused with his head bowed. His mother and younger sister joined him at the pulpit to offer support. Soft crying could be heard across the audience. As powerful as Jeff’s words were, the real lesson was Jeff himself. His life, not merely his words, was the greatest tribute he could offer. I suspect each parent in the audience wondered, as I did, what our own son or daughter might say about us after we leave this world. What would their lives reflect of us? And would we leave to them a legacy that reflected our Heavenly Father’s love?
“…we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done…which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them.” Psalm 78:4-6
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” Psalm 103:13