Growing up I had the privilege of knowing both sets of my grandparents and getting to know both of grandfathers. My mother’s father I got to see more often simply because he lived only a few hours away and my father’s father lived more than six hours away in another state.
Both had an influence on my young life and I would say I have a few of each of their personality traits and talents. I am truly grateful for the times I had with each of them. All of my grandparents are now gone, but the legacy they provided me still lives on in me and I hope that one day I can be a “grandfather” to future grandkids of my own. I also hope I can continue to be a father who is an example to my children who they can follow and be proud of.
My father is still alive and well today and he often calls and tries to come up to visit when he can to see his grandkids; my wife Cherry and I have three children who are now making it into their teens with one recently graduating this year. He has been an amazing grandfather and I believe that my children have truly been blessed because of him in their lives.
My wife’s father is also still alive and has made a few visits up to see his grandchildren, and although the relationship with him has slowly developed over the years, I am grateful for him and his presence in their lives as well.
Both of these men, although from different backgrounds with different personalities, have influenced my children and I believe what they have shared in life together with my children will go on to influence them as they all grow and mature into adulthood. I know my grandfather’s had that kind of profound effect upon me. I followed a bit in both of their footsteps as one was a preacher and the other was a gifted musician and these are the two things I am still passionate about today.
I am also grateful for the relationship I still have with my dad; he has been an enormous help in times of need over the years and I have found that no matter how old I get, he still remains my father with fatherly advice that sometimes makes me feel like I am back at home and 15 all over again. I know, however, it is simply because I am still his son and he even now still feels a bit responsible for me although I am 42 years old. He has not been perfect, but he was perfectly suited by God to be my dad and I am thankful for his life and his presence in my life.
I know there are many who have not had my experience and do not see the father and grandfather role in the same way as I do. I wish everyone had the chance to have a great connection with their father or grandfather but I just know this is not always the case. For those who have not been so fortunate, I hope to bring you a word of encouragement.
The Apostle Paul, writing in I Corinthians 4:14-16, points out an earthly father is not all there is when it comes to fathers, but also spiritual fathers in the faith have been given by God to help us as well.
“I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I urge you to imitate me.” (New Living Translation)
I was fortunate that both my grandfathers and my dad all had relationships with God and have lived their lives as examples before me of what being a godly man is all about. However, I also have found at times in my life where I have needed a spiritual father who was nearby who helped to teach me and guide me to be bold in my faith.
I believe there are still many spiritual fathers out there who God has gifted to help, just as Paul did with the Corinthian believers. If you did not have the privilege of that kind of relationship with your father or grandfather, just know God has a spiritual father waiting to be there for you today. He may be found in your local church congregation or even at work or maybe a friend of the family who has seen you grow up. Maybe you have had him in your life and you did not realize that this was what he was to you.
If you have found that, then make sure to say “thank you” this Father’s Day and if you are still seeking one, do not give up and pray for God’s divine intervention into your life and I will be in agreement with you that He brings the spiritual father that you desire in your time of need.