The Man Who Helped Shape Me

I started this post a few months ago… but decided that I wanted to save it for Father’s day.  While the actual content of this post may be a few months in the making, this tribute is way overdue.  More accurately, this post is  years late.  Regardless of what society may try and tell us, our parents have a huge influence in shaping us into whom we will become.

While no childhood is perfect, I am fortunate to live today without the scars of abuse and neglect that so many individuals have to deal with.  Thank you God for your grace.   In fact, earlier this spring my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary!

While a letter to my dad would be an appropriate way to share my feelings, we live in a society who devotes sitcom after sitcom to tearing down the leaders of households and I wanted to make a “public” statement regarding the impact of a father.  And while I by no means am claiming that my dad is perfect (or any man besides Jesus), he has helped to shape me into the man I am becoming.

It’s hard to even narrow down topics or areas where he has influenced my life, but I have attempted to share a few of the areas that are important to me.

1. Hard Work

I wish I could say that this was the easiest thing for me to learn.  My dad is a farmer and works hard every day.  He truly earns his living by the sweat of his brow.  You would think that I would have had a leg up in this area… but in all reality… I would have classified myself as lazy throughout my childhood.  I found myself so “busy” at school in extracurricular activities that I was often too “busy” to help my dad on the farm.  Looking back I have a lot of regrets regarding my attitude towards the work requests that my dad brought forth.  Indirectly, God has used this regret to light a fire in my life to not shy away from hard work.  The teaching of my father in this area has helped to lay the groundwork for my success in my current career.

2. Provision

My dad was a tireless worker.  We NEVER went without.  That’s not to say we always got the latest fad, were the first to have cable, or had the most expensive shoes.  But we NEVER went without.  My dad taught me that provision is stepping up and taking the role of provider for your family.    This laid the groundwork for what would become my decision with my wife that if at all possible she would be able to work at home full-time in raising our children.  More importantly, my father’s work in providing for our family growing up taught me about the loving provision of our heavenly father.

3. Sacrifice

My dad gave up a lot for our family.  My dad didn’t have outside interests taking him away from family.  A few years into my role in fatherhood, I am starting to see the wisdom in his decisions.  All throughout my school years, I can scarcely remember times when my dad was not present for events at which I participated.  I don’t think I will ever fully know the sacrifices that my parents made for me and my siblings.  If my Dad had not modeled sacrifice, how would I ever have known how to sacrifice for my wife as the Bible mandates.

4. Love

I never doubted the love of my father.  There may have been times that I didn’t think the he particular liked me (when I was disobedient and lazy), but I never doubted that my father truly loved me for who I am and never doubted that he wanted the absolute best for me.  This love ultimately showed me about the unconditional love of our heavenly Father.

I don’t chalk things up as coincidence.   God’s grace is so evident throughout my childhood.  I thank God for choosing my dad to raise me and my siblings.  Thank you Dad for helping to shape me!  As the years pass, I become more and more thankful for your involvement in my life and the lives of my children.

Happy Fathers Day!

With love,

You son, Travis