Should I have to choose only two things to share about my Dad, I would chose his undeniable love for Jesus and the love he has for the “the only girl he ever loved”.
It was many years ago, a young man having a beautiful young bride and two little children was struck with ugly habits seeking to destroy his life, much like they did for his father. Life was toppled upside down with sin and soon things would be gone had God not stepped in with his amazing love and mercy. If you have felt that tug on your heart you know what Dad must have felt when he knelt beside the bed inside the cab of his truck. Yet that time nothing happened. He carried that longing on down the road, mile after mile desiring to have this burden lifted off his troubled heart. He came upon a little country church. “Surely I can make things right inside that church” he thought. Pulling over and walking into that country church he got halfway down the aisle and knew that this was not the place where God was going to meet him. He climbed back into the cab of that truck and made his way home.
There his pretty wife would greet him along with two toe-headed kids happy to see their daddy home. Mom was preparing the family to head to church, as revival had come to town and was at the Nazarene church they were attending just down the road. Mom asked the same question having been asked many times before “will you go to church with us?” Tonight, she was elated to have her husband escort the family to revival service that evening.
As the story goes, Dad couldn’t tell you a single word from that preachers mouth except the end when ask to pray at the altar. With all the tugging and prompting of the Holy Spirit for days it’s a wonder he didn’t go mid-message. The Holy Spirit did a work in Dad that night that change all of our lives forever. He was washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Habits were gone in an instant. Drinking, smoking and cursing no longer had a place inside this new man of God.
The love for Jesus has grown over the years. Now blessed to see age 79 he easily tears up at the mere mention of his dearest friend’s name, Jesus. Jesus has shown him great love and brought him through many trials and given him many joys of family and rewards to be measured by the heavy crown sure to be place upon his head someday.
I recently shared a snapshot of a memory I was blessed to witness where my parents were leaving after church and a time of food and fellowship. They walked across the parking lot and without a thought from either one of them their hands simultaneously reached for each other. Hand in hand they slowly made their way to their car, Dad opening the door for mom to get in.
This has been a lifetime of love and care for one so precious to him. In fact, I recall, very vividly growing up that it was the immediate call for correction should one of us kids show any form of disrespect or sass toward his wife. There is a fierceness inside this man when it comes to protecting his prize. He will choose her over himself every….single…. time. He desires to give her all he can and will sacrifice in order to make her smile. He understands her needs and who she is better than she does. That is because of his great love for her. Dad loves mom like our heavenly Father loves us… His bride.
“Husbands, love your wives, seeking the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25