18 Jun The Good in Men: Group Text Reveals A Lot about This Dad
2ndVote readers are sending in their personal stories about “the good in men.” Please be sure to read about these real men and the impact they have had on their family and community. In honor of these men, we’ll be gifting an Égard watch (3.00-neutral) to a deserving man selected from these stories this Father’s Day.
The other day the kids had a texting thread going naming the “single most important thing that dad taught you,” which rapidly morphed into “the top three.” Our oldest son started it and four of our six kids responded before other topics took control and it was lost to them. Thinking practically and off the cuff, our son texted his top three, “How to change the oil in a car. How to change a flat. And how to ride a bike.”
He was quickly challenged by our youngest daughter. “God is most important, don’t forget to check your oil, and how to play guitar and sing.” He vetoed her oil comment because it was too close to his answer, “no duplicates!” Then he said, “no spiritual or intangible.” I sensed some competition. The youngest changed hers, “How to play guitar and sing, how to appreciate literature, and how to tell when different things are wrong with my car.”
Coming into the conversation with the rules in place by this time, our second daughter added, “No one has listed “how to drive,” so I’ll add that. (Although practicing was more with mom, dad took me out in the side field and taught me on the old pickup.) 1.b. addendum would be driving a tractor, although I’ve forgotten how, so- sorry Pop. I would say “swimming” as an important life skill, but I learned “how to be rescued when you jump in the deep end (subtitle: make sure dad sees you before you jump)” My third (since we can’t add other skills people have already mentioned) would probably be a mixture of poetry and drawing, specifically portraits. Step 1: Start with a solid circle, disregarding the face shape of the individual in front of you. Step 2: Draw something resembling a mixture of grass and lightning strikes all along the top of the circle, this is the best strategy for conveying the idea of hair.” (Mentioning poetry was an allusion to a family favorite poem that she and her dad wrote together, “Twas the Night Before Easter,” a hilarious Easter Bunny parody.)
Prompted by his sisters’ answers, turning from sibling chatter, our son began to back-pedal directly to his dad…. “I took it as materialistic things. You taught me how to love music and guitars, but you didn’t teach me how to play guitar. You taught me how to love literature, but you didn’t teach me to read. That’s how my mind works.”
Our oldest spoke up, “Okay, I’ve been thinking about this. Apart from and, all the same, including spiritual: 1) encourage your husband, be interested in what he does and likes- show him you care; 2) don’t expect all people to live by the same standard. Non-believers do not have the same standard as we do, who love and follow Christ. 3) being able to have conversations with all kinds of people and about all kinds of subjects- being congenial and conversational.”
As their mom, I see my husband’s influence in their lives in many ways: love, humor, ethics, family, intelligence, discernment, faith, etc. My husband is faithful and a man of integrity. He is also a man of God’s word; literally, he is a Pastor and spiritual father to many. He has a Godly wisdom founded on “do unto others” that is phenomenally practical in its out-working. He promotes peace. He loves God’s church.
Thank you, Lani, for your contribution!