Honor our Father's

"Honor your father and mother. This the first commandment with a promise: if you honor your father and mother, things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth. Ephesians 6:2-3

How do I find the words to express all the love and respect I have for my father? Let me start by saying that the enthusiasm Dad has in his voice when he greets me is filled with as much love as it is possible to convey with a voice. His genuine warmth for me, as well as for others, has the ability to make me feel loved and special. This is a rare gift that I truly appreciate.  I will never take it for granted.

Another wonderful quality Dad has is his ability to tell stories of his life that are always interesting, and entertaining. If they were written down they would fill volumes.  I don’t think Dad will ever run out of tales to tell about his extraordinary life.

He grew up in Egypt...
rode camels in the Boy Scouts...
swam into sea caves in Alexandria seeking to discover ruins from the time of Cleopatra...
he spoke five languages...
he grew up in a land of ancient treasures and pyramids...
he taught himself to paint landscapes which have become family treasures.

How many fathers would have the courage to leave family, home and country at age seventeen in order to obtain an education in England? Dad earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and went on to design the tail of the Concord airplane before he was thirty years old. When representatives from Douglas Aircraft went to England to recruit talented engineers, Dad was hired and crossed the globe once again. This time he moved to the United States with the promise of a better future for his young family.

Maybe one of the things I love most about Dad is his sacrificial love for my mother. Before Dad met her, Mom had experienced a childhood illness that relegated her to wearing clumpy orthopedic shoes. Dad learned how to make shoes that accommodated her orthopedic needs. For the first time in her life Mom had a wardrobe of stylish shoes.

I will always be thankful for the love and loyalty he modeled for us in the way he loved Mom. For the last twenty-seven years of her life she experienced the debilitating affects of a stroke that ultimately left her paralyzed. Dad remained strong in her weakness and lovingly provided the care she needed. He demonstrated what it looks like to love “in sickness and in health.”

Today, my father’s health is weakening. Now it is my turn to show him the love and care he has long devoted to his family.  He has always been there for us when we needed him. It is an honor to help him navigate this path toward medical stability in his waning years.

My father has truly been an example to me of the sacrificial love our Abba Father has for us. God has promised to always be by our side ("I will never leave you nor forsake you" Hebrews 13:5) and He will never allow tests or suffering in our lives without providing us the endurance to get through it and find His way out (! Corinthians 10:13). He loves us so much He gave His only Son to rescue and reconcile us to Him. 

"For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NLT)

by Julie Hill