Within the 10 Commandments, #5 is where God's people are commanded to honour our parents. It’s one we struggle with for it’s not always easy when our parental relationships are mixed. Yet it’s worth the effort as we show our love for Jesus and place in God’s family when we keep his commands (John 14:15, Mark 3:35).
So for me, I'm thankful to God for the man he gave me as my father. Through good example and examples to avoid, he’s been God’s primary provision for me to learn what it means to be a male, a husband and a father myself.
He taught me to - respect my mother, embrace change, persevere in difficulty, have table manners, work hard for a living, be teachable, sacrificially care for those who are weaker, be flexible, delight in my wife and cherish her joyfully, and serve my family without grumbling or resentment.
He also taught me a whole host of life skills, like how to: clean a car, maintain and use all kinds of sporting equipment, build fires, shoot a rifle, read the weather, manage resources, work safely with tools & machinery, lead a team of people, turn conflict into an opportunity for growth, work under pressure and how to serve a difficult boss.
After he miraculously came to Christ at age 45, he showed me how to: repent honestly and completely, trust God in life threatening circumstances, generously serve God’s Church with everything available to me, preach the gospel to my children, and how to allow your children to teach you.
I thank God for giving me a father who did his best to be a father. I’m also thankful he wasn’t perfect and never claimed to be. From this I’m able to forgive myself and ask God’s forgiveness for not being a perfect father to my children. And best of all, I’m not tempted to worship anyone but my Heavenly Father.
I’m thankful to God for such a father; not a painting to admire, but a window through whom I can better see the magnificence of my Father in Heaven.