Today finds me and Norma Jean in Centerville, Ohio, where I’m preaching for the Cornerstone Church, formerly known as the Kettering Church.
It’s special being with these brethren, again. We worked with the Kettering church back in the 1970s. We’ve maintained a good and close with relationship with these brethren through the years, have returned for gospel meetings several times.
Also, this is where I became a father. I had just begun preaching at Kettering when Kenny was born the day following Mother’s Day. Like any young, inexperienced couple with this first child, parenting was a sharp learning curve, often through learning trial and error.
Fortunately, my parents were still alive and lived just a few hours away in Indiana. My Dad, in addition to becoming a doting grandfather, was a constant source of sound, steady, scriptural advice. Also we were blessed with several good men in this church who served as spiritual fathers to me as a preacher, Christian, husband, and father. I will forever be grateful to men like Jim Grushon, Sr. Dick Kelso, and Horace Bucker, as well as others, for their encouragement and counsel in my new role.
Now, I’m a grandfather and today my son is celebrating this day as the father of two children, Miles and Katherine. He’s a good Dad. He’s a hands-on, engaged, and involved father. Everyday. The amount of energy and effort he pours into these two kids continues to amaze me.
Though preaching the gospel is a great calling, I have always liked what one father said, “Having kids is the ultimate job in life. I want to be most successful at being a good father.” It’s become almost a proverb and cliche, “Nobody on their deathbed has ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office’.”
From my father, I learned the values of honesty and integrity. Hard work. Self-sacrifice. Love for the Lord. Concern for others. Spiritual priorities. And financial stewardship.
Dads, don’t discount the spiritual influence you’re having on your children. Three memories that stick in my mind until this day are hearing my Dad’s fervent prayers. Seeing him in the family room with the TV turned off reading his Bible. And going with Him to Gospel Meetings. Indeed, as George Herbert expressed it, “One father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters.”
May we have more fathers today like the Patriarch, Abraham, of whom God said: “I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice.”
Happy Father’s Day!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
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