Summary: We all build memories in the lives of others and especially, our children.
INTRO.- Building fatherhood memories. How does a father do this? How does a father build good memories of him in his children?
First, let me tell you about my father. It’s natural for me to remember my father on Father’s Day. Why not? Isn’t this what Father’s Day all about? A time to remember and appreciate?
My father, Georgia Leo Shepherd, was born on July 13, 1910 and passed away on December 11, 1982, at the age of 72 years. Dad looked healthy on the outside, but wasn’t on the inside. A heart attack took his life suddenly. Dad had smoked all of his life and I think this contributed to his death.
Certainly, his smoking was not a good childhood memory for me. I just knew that smoking wasn’t the best thing in the world for him to do.
Dad also drank beer and sometimes, whiskey. This, of course, is not the best memory. Although when Dad drank beer it was generally just a few, because he apparently liked the taste and the refreshment. But when he drank hard liquor I didn’t like that. A few times, I saw the effects of that drinking. As a child I saw my father drunk a few times. Fortunately, for us, he was not a mean drunk. Thank God for that! I remember asking mom one time, “Mommy, what’s wrong with Daddy? He’s acting silly.” He was singing and dancing and I don’t remember what else.
Some other negative memories were when he disciplined me. I didn’t like that, but now I appreciate the fact that he loved me enough to discipline me. And if we love our children we will discipline them. Love cares enough to discipline.
Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”
I am sure there were many occasions when my dad disciplined me that I don’t even remember. But I was middle child and you know what that means, don’t you? Middle means meddle or else mean! Middle children meddle with things they shouldn’t or else they become the meanest child of the bunch. I WAS THE MIDDLE CHILD! The meanest! And the mouthiest!
ILL.- I remember coming home late from elementary school one day. I was supposed to come home directly after school was out. DID YOU EVER GET THAT COMMAND? Well, I didn’t obey. I went home after school with George Huffman. He was my buddy. He had a new bike and I rode on the back of it. We went to his house and played a little. What? I don’t remember. But later (maybe an hour went by), George took me home on his bike. When we got there, dad was standing in the front yard with a bad look on his face.
I don’t remember what dad said, but I remember very well what he did. He took off his belt and proceeded to whip or spank me with it. He wasn’t abusive by any means, but I certainly felt it on my backside. I knew that I had done wrong.
I know that both my dad and mom disciplined me in life, but I don’t remember much of that now. I guess that’s good. But I am sure that I deserved every form of punishment I got. MOST OF US DO. Most of us get far less than we deserve.
DAD AND LANGUAGE
Another negative thing that I remember about dad was his language. Sometimes he used bad language, which I had enough sense to know, wasn’t good. I especially didn’t like it when he used the Lord’s name in vain. But that wasn’t often. Obviously, smoking, drinking and bad language were not/are not good memories for me.
Building fatherhood memories. I do have some good memories of my father, not just negative memories.
DAD AND WORK
Dad was definitely a hard-working man. He drove a truck and hauled cattle most of his life. I respected dad for what he did. I saw him load cattle, herd cattle, drive his truck, unload cattle, clean the trailer out, which was not a pleasant job. Dad worked hard at whatever he did. His hard work was a good example.
Dad also taught us boys about maintaining our cars. When we became old enough to drive and buy a car, Dad showed us how to change the oil and filter, change spark plugs, etc. And this is good, because every father needs to teach his children how to do things in life.
Dad taught us how to drive, how to work, how to garden, how to mow the yard, etc. I thank God that my father was not a lazy man.
DAD AND THE CHIRSTIAN LIFE
My dad also taught me something about the Christian life even though he never claimed to be a Christian. I think he always believed in Christ but as far as I know, he was never baptized. And naturally, this has always bothered me. All I can do is trust him to our loving heavenly Father. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS BEST AND DOES BEST. And I believe with all my heart, if anybody loved my father, it was and is my Heavenly Father!