A good friend will spend this fathers day weekend eulogizing his dad. My brother-in-law did the same for his father 2 months ago. It’s hard to loose a parent and keep it together enough to speak at the funeral. I spoke at my dad’s funeral 16 years ago. Writing those words were hard and sharing them even harder. But I got through it and I’m glad I did it. Friends and family tell me they still remember the inspiring stories. But the words had the most impact on me.
My Dad, Jack M Boyd, Sr
Fathers have an important responsibility to teach and affirm their children, especially their sons. Standing up for my Dad that day was an opportunity for me to remember what Dad really taught my sister and me and accept the responsibility to do the same for my children. This Fathers Day, if you have a good relationship with your father, thank him for what he’s taught you. If your father is deceased, share those lessons and legacy with your children. And when that time comes in the future when you have to decide, ‘do I stand up for my dad,’ I hope you will. My dad battled brain cancer the last three months of his life and we had an incredible opportunity to walk together through that physical and spiritual journey together. He wanted to ‘write a book’ during those last days so my words at his funeral became his ‘book.’ The words are still hard for me to read but I hope Dad’s story will inspire you.
One of our favorite Christmas traditions with our children was reading the Luke 2 christmas story on Christmas Eve. When our daughter Steffy was 10 and our son, Nathan was 8, they memorized Luke 2:1-20 in school and wanted to recite the story at Christmas.
That year, instead of Monica and me reading the Luke 2 story, Nathan and Steffy recited the Christmas story. We ended up making a mini production out of it with Kristin, our oldest daughter and our young nieces and nephew in costumes acting out the nativity while Steffy and Nathan recited the story. We had ‘angels’ on the upstairs balcony looking down over ‘Joseph, Mary, Jesus (a baby doll) and shepherds’ while our extended family looked on!
That Christmas was a special one for us. My dad enjoyed the production in a wheel chair that Christmas and passed away in January from brain cancer. We retired the production after that year but our children still remember the verses.
How do you share the true meaning of Christmas from Luke 2 with your children? Share your story and photo of your nativity on our facebook page (www.facebook.com/parentingstudy) and use hashtag #christmastraditions
Next week is the anniversary of the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, a grim reminder of the horror and evil that we see too often in today’s news.
When I was a teenager, I remember my Mom liked to watch the local TV news and I think all the bad news made her worry more than she should about our safety. A number of years ago, I stopped watching the local news. I realized I was becoming like my mom, worrying more than I should about our children.
Whether you choose to watch or not, there is a lot of bad news out there. That’s why I like Christmas. It’s the story of good news, a proclamation of hope. God loved the world so much, he came to earth as a man to restore the hearts of a broken world. Isaiah describes this ‘hope’ as a great light; A sunburst for people walking in darkness in a land of deep shadows.”
Our son, Nathan, shared a music video with me called ‘Lover of the Light,’ by Mumford & Sons, a popular British indie folk band. It’s a story of a lost love, a blind man who’s living in darkness who discovers the light.
“David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.”
1 Chronicles 28:20
When we ask parents what kind of adult they want their child to grow up to be, many say they want to see their child become a person of strong character with integrity, honesty, compassion and kindness. But how do parents who are Christ followers help their child learn to walk with God?
Growing up, my (Jack) dad was a Christ follower who wanted my sister and me to grow up ‘going to church.’ However, Dad really didn’t lead by example. He went to work on Sunday mornings while my Mom took us to church. My dad was a great role model for me in many areas but I missed his spiritual leadership.
When Monica and I started our family, we wanted to be spiritual leaders for our children and help them learn to walk with God. We stumbled many times but we found the best way for us to lead our children was to focus first on our own spiritual journey. We also prayed with and for our children, showed them the value of a church community and helped them learn about God so they could eventually know God.
We’ll share more personal examples in future posts but I want to share a great example that happened recently at Stonecreek Church. Some good friends of ours had the joy of celebrating a major spiritual milestone when their children were baptized, publicly declaring themselves Christ followers.
John & Ryan. Used with permission.
Some observers may have been surprised to learn that three of the children were baptized by their own fathers. However, those who know John and Christy and Jeff and Susan, know them to be Christ followers who care deeply about their children’s heart. Jeff baptized his daughters Maddox and Alex. John baptized his son, Ryan (pictured here) and experienced one of the greatest joys a father can experience in the life of his children.