Tuesday, April 10, 1979. Euless, Texas. John’s Dad drops him off at school, then drives to a remote location … and shoots himself.
Zach Sobiech died this past Monday, May 20. He was eighteen years old.
I didn’t know Zach. In fact, I never even knew about Zach … until today.
When I was in junior high school in Alice, Texas, I spent many evenings across the street at Mama Grace’s house, picking her brain about people and dates and places so that I could fill in all the pertinent details on my genealogical charts. Every time I asked a fact-finding question, she would start into a story, often trailing off into laughter as she recounted precious memories of her childhood years growing up in Cass County, Texas.
When it comes to leading my children, in matters of principle or conviction I must stand my ground. I cannot compromise or “give in” when establishing and enforcing rules for their conduct that are based on God’s principles. My children need to know where the boundaries are. They need to understand that some things are wrong, period; and that some things are required of them, period. They must come to a realization of the life-critical truth that choices have consequences, both here and in eternity. If I fail to implant that truth deeply within their hearts, I have failed them. If I compromise the “rules” to be their “friend”, I may be jeopardizing their eternity.
God calls Dads to be the spiritual leaders in their homes. This is evident from the last part of Epesians 5 and the first several verses of Ephesians 6.
- “Wives, submit to your husbands.”
- “The husband is the head of the wife.”
- “Fathers … bring them [your children] up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
As a Christian husband and father, God has placed on my shoulders the responsibility to be a spiritual leader for my wife and for my children. I cannot abdicate that responsibility if I am to be pleasing to the Lord.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “leader”? A business executive at the helm of a successful corporation? A politician who has devoted his or her life to public service? Maybe a preacher or elder or other religious leader.
Much has been said about leadership through the years. A quick search on Amazon.com yielded a list of 78,788 books on leadership. Names like Stephen Covey, John Maxwell and Tom Peters come to mind as people who are considered experts in the field of leadership.
To my son Justin:
I started praying for you before you were even born:
- Praying that you would be a healthy, happy boy.
- Praying that Mom and I would be good parents for you.
- Praying that your life would be full of blessings and joy.
- Praying that God would provide a special measure of His love and protection and blessing for the girl, whoever she is, who would someday become your wife; that she would grow up in a happy, godly home, and that God would prepare her to become the half that makes your life whole.
It was Tuesday, May 17, 1994. The east Texas sun warmed the afternoon air as we buried my 91-year-old grandmother beside her husband in Laws Chapel Cemetery on the outskirts of Atlanta, Texas. Grandpa Horace had preceded her in death by more than 25 years. He had been a faithful gospel preacher during his time. Mama Grace was a diligent student of God’s word, and had taught numerous Bible classes throughout her lifetime. These were my Dad’s parents.
This week I expanded my blog universe with the discovery of a couple of fellow bloggers whose writing style I absolutely love. One of them is Kyla Roma (pictured at right). In her own words, Kyla is “a twenty four year old girl living in the Canadian Prairies under the biggest sky I’ve ever seen. I’m a black tea aficionado, crafty lady, vegetarian, thrift shopping addict, puppy mama and wife. I’m a homebody, a voracious reader and am deeply silly.”
I came across Kyla’s blog on January 5, and was impressed with the one resolution she made for the year 2010.
What would you do if you were born without eyes, and with a tightening of the joints that prevented you from being able to straighten your arms and legs? Would you feel sorry for yourself? Would you consider yourself “disabled”? Life would certainly come with a greater level of difficulty.
I can’t even imagine being unable to see or walk. Yet, that’s exactly the situation in which Patrick Henry Hughes has found himself since the day he was born. However, when asked, “How would you describe your disabilities?”, Patrick just smiles really big and responds, “Not disabilities at all; more abilities.”