What does it mean to be a Father?

I wish I could remember what Coach Jensen said that day in 8th grade. I know I admired him, if only because his brother was the great Jackie Jensen. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jenseja01.shtml Jackie played for my beloved New York Yankees and was the AL MVP for the rival Red Sox in 1958. But I digress ? I came home from school that day in 1968 and announced to my mom, “I know what I want to be when I grow up” I wish she was here to wish I had asked her while she was alive what she thought I might say? I do remember her surprise when she nicely asked what it was I wanted to be. “I want to be a coach and a dad!” Given how I felt about Coach Jensen and my Lions Club baseball coaches, Larry Rentch and Tom Proctor, the 1st answer made sense. The dad part took my mom totally by surprise. I have coached folks all my life in sports, business, and personal development but I never worked as a coach. 52 years later, on this my 39th Father’s Day, I got the second part right and nothing I have accomplished in my life means more to me.

Dottie and I are blessed with 3 children (a boy and two girls) who are all now married and have allowed me to reach another goal; becoming a grandfather. The now 7 grandchildren affectionately call me, “MRG or MRGie.” I knew I wanted to be a dad but not until they moved past the toddler or what I called the “physically tiring” stage of life did I realize the great responsibility that comes along with the title, Dad.

I am one of 6 kids and if there is one thing for sure, Mom and Dad did a great job teaching us to find our own way. We are all very different and didn’t always do the right thing nor did we always think the same way as our parents. One thing we did know is we were loved and that our Buppy and Papa, the General were our biggest fans As I wrote in my Mother’s Day blog, we are all trying to live out that legacy they created for us to follow. https://thankfulinallthings.com/mothers-day-how-does-it-answer-the-question-what-does-it-mean-to-leave-a-legacy/

I am not surprised that the Lord would have me reading through Proverbs during the month of June. It started as a challenge to a younger friend who has started his own faith journey. I had shared my thoughts about how we are to Study so we can learn, seek Understanding and then make ourselves Vulnerable in our interactions with others. He had never read the Bible so we decided to read one chapter a day since there are 30 chapters. I thought I was doing it for him. God, my Heavenly Father, had other plans because you see, as a child of God, He wants me to mature and become the man He created. I take seriously the responsibility of doing the same for my kids and now, their kids. For me, there is no better legacy I could leave. The recurring theme in Proverbs is instruction or as Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young sang, “teach your children well”

Here are just a few living and parenting tips that come out of Proverbs. Pay attention. Listen well. Maintain discretion.. Pursue knowledge. Heed Instruction. Know that you are in full sight of the Lord. I am not perfect so don’t make others feel like they have to be. Be grateful for God’s grace and mercy. Offer the same to everyone around you. Love the Lord always and love others in the same way.

As I shared earlier, my parents let us grow up with the thought, “you can be anyone you want.” I am sure Dad would have loved for one of his children to have gone into the military. None of us did but he was proud of and bragged on us all the time. Dottie and I can certainly say the same about JM, Katie, and Becca. Our greatest joy is watching them learn how to be incredible parents. Yes the CTNY song, reminds us to teach our children well. But is also shares to do it well, you must have a code.” Mine comes from the greatest commandment in the bible. “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul. Love your children (inserted for effect here) and everyone else as I have loved you Joshua 24:15 says, “ But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” What is the code on which you stand to teach your children? As you strive to teach your children well, Make sure know the code.

Learn more about the journey that inspired me to write this blog. www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie contact me at [email protected] Please subscribe to this blog so you can get email updates when new posts are added.

7 Replies to “What does it mean to be a Father?”

  1. Heya! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent work!

  2. First of all I would like to say fantastic blog! I had
    a quick question which I’d like to ask if you
    don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.
    I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.

    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any
    ideas or hints? Thanks!

    1. I read and listen to podcasts. I then allow the Lord to put on my hear what it is he wants me to write. I usually write 1st thing in the AM on the weekend when I don’t feel rushed allowing me to gather my thoughts better.

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