When I was a kid, I remember waking up every morning and running out into the living room to say good morning to my dad. Like clockwork, he was always sitting at the end of the couch near the lamp with his bible in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. Morning after morning I would just on the couch and wait for him to finish his reading and journaling before we started our morning talk. It would be those moments that I will always look back on fondly and forever be grateful for.
I remember running out into the living room one morning when I woke up and my dad wasn’t in his usual spot. I didn’t get up late, so where was he? I ran around the house looking and couldn’t find him, so I grabbed my sweatshirt and threw it over my nightgown, and then slipped into my Red Justin Roper boots and headed outside. There he was, feeding the dogs and the horses. I didn’t think much of it at the moment, but looking back, in my heart, I knew something was wrong. From that moment on, our mornings changed because my dad wasn’t sitting on the couch each morning any more.
Staying in Step with the Spirit
About 20 years later, Holy Spirit brought that memory back to me and I called my dad. As we began to talk, I reminded him of those mornings when I would run out into the living room and be so excited to see him. Then I said something to him that I know he was very aware of. I said, “Dad, when you stopped reading your bible and spending time with Jesus in the morning, was that when things started to shift if your life and your marriage started to struggle?” You see, it was only a few months after the morning when I found my dad feeding the animals outside that my parents got a divorce and my whole life changed.
My dad is one of the absolute best men I know. He loves the Lord with his whole heart and follows him completely. He is the one that taught me about Holy Spirit and how to have a relationship with Him. He is the one that led by example what it means to be spirit-led and to have intimacy with the Lord. Throughout my whole life, I have seen my dad consistently choose to seek the Lord with his whole heart and I have been the one that has been affected by the overflow of that relationship. But….there was a time when my dad did stop seeking the Lord about everything and started to make his own plans and did what he thought was right for him at the time….and it started around that morning when I didn’t see him sitting on the couch, but instead, he was doing his chores before work.
I learned something super powerful in the conversation with my dad when we talked about what had happened. He reminded me of the importance of spending time with Jesus and of following the voice of Holy Spirit. He taught me that it isn’t always about sitting every morning doing our quiet time and getting into the word, even though that is super important, but it is about staying in step with the Spirit and connecting our hearts with the Lord every day that is going to be the best decision we could ever make.
A Father’s Day Encouragement
I am so grateful for the example my pop has given me over my lifetime. It is because of him, partnered with Jesus, that I am one who knows the Lord and moves with the Spirit the way that I do. It is also my dad that I can go to when I am walking out something hard and need some extra encouragement and wisdom. I can fully trust his relationship with the Lord.
To all you dads out there, doing the best that you know how to do as a dad, can I just encourage you to stay connected to Jesus. Spend time with Him. Allow Him to speak to your heart and direct your steps. It is your relationship with the Lord that is going to overflow out of your life as you parent your kids – and I promise you, they will benefit from it if it’s there. You may not always make the best decisions, and that is okay – but as you turn into the Lord and follow his lead, your kids are paying attention and are the ones receiving the blessing of that relationship.
Happy Father’s Day!