My Daddy has always been there for me. In a quiet and unassuming way...
Anyone who knows my dad knows he is a man of few words. He gave me one consistent word of advice growing up... marry in the Lord. Our family read the Bible almost every evening while I was young. It was during this time Daddy would give us life advice.
He not only spoke words of advice to us... he lived the words he spoke. My dad was an accountant. I heard him complain a few times about some of the people he worked with and it was usually about their smoking habits. (Remember, people used to smoke at their desk.) Dad had signs on his door and in his office regarding smoking. I remember his "Smoke Free Zone" sign on his office door. I remember Dad always going to work... he was never out of a job. He never complained about providing for his family.
Dad was also faithful to my mother. He spoke like a "male chauvinist" at times but his actions told a different story. (I now realize he was picking at us. It was his way of having fun in a female-dominated household.) Dad and Mom were always working on some project around our house and 20 acres. My mother would ride on the tractor with my dad while he cultivated the garden or bush-hogged the field. She didn't have to be there... but she knew he liked it. I now realize these were "dates." They were always hugging and kissing each other (at my mother's insistence)... even in front of our friends. I found it embarrassing at the time but now I realize the importance of their displays of affection. It was showing me a healthy and happy marriage.
Dad was always a "wanna be" farmer. He grew a huge garden every summer. We even had a cantaloupe patch for a few years. Our work in planting, picking, and selling the cantaloupes resulted in a swimming pool. I remember complaining about the "dumb cantaloupes" when I was a kid, but now I see what Dad was teaching us. He was showing us how to work and reach a goal. He was showing me the rewards of labor.
My dad is a man of many talents yet he is not proud or boasting about them. He never played softball while I was growing up. His last season was the summer before I was born. He began playing softball again a few years ago. (I think it was after my youngest sister was married.) I see now how much he loves it. It must have been a sacrifice for him not to play for 30+ years. His softball team won the "65 and Older" National Softball Championship last summer and he was named MVP.
Daddy not only "talked the talk" but he "walked the walk" of a Christ-centered life. He showed me the benefits of a quiet and unassuming life. Peace. Enduring love. And, honor. The honor of his children, his wife, and his friends. The honor of a life well-lived.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day!