Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Tale of Two Men

7The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.  8O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. -Psalm 34:7, 8 (KJV) 

When I was growing up I had before me a stark contrast of different types of men; one was a godly and decent man, the other was not.  The first was my father.  From my earliest memory dad was a God-fearing, honest, hard-working, and kind man.  He worked hard at his job at Chrysler Corporation providing for his family, was always faithful in our church, loved his family, and was always willing to lend a helping hand to neighbors or anyone else in need.  He remains to me the finest example of Christian character and devotion to God I have ever known.  It’s an honor to call him my father.  I pray my life reflects the influence of his godly example. 

The second man I am thinking of lived several houses up from us (we lived in the populated suburbs of Dayton, Ohio) and was the father of a friend of mine.  This man’s life was the polar opposite of my father.  He was a heavy drinker, had numerous run-ins with the law, was abusive, violent, profane, and rarely held down a job.  I recall my friend telling me how difficult life was with an abusive, alcoholic father.  One night my friend’s mother (a woman who stood about five feet tall) apparently had enough of her husband’s abuse and laid him out with a baseball bat.  He was taken away by ambulance to the local hospital.  As he was carried away I think the neighbors all wanted to cheer.  As I recall that was the last time he tried to beat her, God bless her. 

My situation is not one I have ever taken for granted.  Even as a young boy I realized how fortunate I was to have a father who was loving, kind, and approachable.  Dad was always willing, and still is, to take time to listen to me when I had a problem.  The traits which have made my father such a good man stem from his personal relationship with Jesus Christ and his strong stand upon the Word of God.  More nights than I can recall I came home to find dad seated in his chair with his Bible open before him.  What a blessing to have been raised in a home where God’s Word was honored and the principles it teaches were applied.   

I have no idea what kind of a father raised you or if he was a godly or ungodly man.  If he was a good man and loved you then be thankful.  If he was not, remember that God is to us a loving Father willing to love and help us in our time of need. 

To all the dads reading this I say, “Happy Father’s Day.”  You are touching lives more than you know.  Keep trusting God and living for the Lord.

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