I’m thinking about my dad …
and I’m reminded of an old song,
“Someone to Watch over Me.”
Dad was the one who made me feel safe, protected, and loved. I thought nothing could ever go wrong as long as he was there. If it did, I had complete faith that he could take care of it. As far as I was concerned, he could take care of anything. In my eyes, he was all-powerful.
Because dad disagreed with many of the man-imposed beliefs of the church he grew up in, he wouldn’t go to a formal church, however, I never heard him criticize it or his parents. As I grew up, I began to see that while he didn’t go to church, he was a believer in Christ. He didn’t talk the talk—he simply lived what he believed.
I watched dad’s attitude and manner with my grandparents. I saw the way he honored them. He never raised his voice or spoke to them without a sir or ma’am—can you tell he grew up in Texas! I don’t remember dad using foul language, yelling, or telling dirty jokes in front of the family. I wasn’t “taught” to be respectful of my parents and grandparents—it was modeled in front of me.
Dad was very strict and his rules were not to be broken. I can still hear his voice going very soft when I did something I shouldn’t, and I knew I was in trouble. I was taught to never ask why or beg him to change his mind. I was actually in my forties before I learned where the “never ask why” came from. Matthew 5:37 says “Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’, and your ‘no,’ be ‘no.’ Anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”
The value of controlling my tongue was brought home to me very early in my life. You’ll notice that I said the value of controlling my tongue. I’m still working on the control part; it’s been a lifelong challenge. I have clamped my teeth over my tongue many, many times, and wished I had many other times. At dad’s constant prompting to think before you speak, I learned the importance of thinking things out. Most of the time when I did stop and think, I didn’t need to say it or ask about it. Usually just slowing down kept me out of trouble.
I don’t remember dad ever telling me he loved me in words; but there was never a time in my life when I doubted his love. I knew it, just like I knew that morning always follows the night. One of the most important things I realized very early in life was that I was the child and dad was the adult. He was the authority over me and always would be. And I felt safe and protected.
Don’t get the wrong idea, dad wasn’t perfect, he had flaws like everybody else, but he walked the walk. And this laid the groundwork for my acceptance of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Dad made it easy for me to accept the authority of God the Father.
No matter what our earthly fathers are like, good, bad, or indifferent, we all have a heavenly Father who created us and knew us before we were ever born (Psalm 139), one who knows the number of our days, who wants the best for us, who promises to take care of us, and who through belief in His Son Jesus Christ has made us heirs of His eternal kingdom along with His Son.
Dad went home to God the Father’s eternal kingdom a long time ago, and when I am missing him, I open God’s Word and read His promises …
And I know without a doubt that
Someone is still watching over me …