“Nothing has touched me more deeply than [this honor given to me] by the National Father’s Day committee. By profession, I am a soldier and take great pride in that fact. But I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build. The father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentialities of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle, but in
the home.” 1
Someone said, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one.” There is truth to this statement. Children may not remember what you say, but they are usually impacted for life by what you do. Consider the task of teaching your boys to be honest, for example. Yes, you should teach what the Scripture says about truthfulness, but you should also look for opportunities to live according to that standard of righteousness.
I’m reminded of something that happened many years ago in the state of Georgia, when the Bulldogs of Rockdale County High School overcame a big deficit to win the state basketball championship. Coach Cleveland Stroud couldn’t have been more proud of his team. But then a few days later, while watching the game films of the playoffs, he noticed that there was an ineligible player on the court for forty-five seconds during one of the games. He called the Georgia High School Association and reported the violation, costing the school the title and the trophy.
When asked about it at a press conference, Coach Stroud said,
“Some people have said that we should have kept quiet about it. That it was just forty-five seconds, and that the player wasn’t really an impact player. But you gotta’ do what’s honest and right. I told my team that people forget the scores of basketball games. They don’t ever forget what you’re made out of.” 2
1. Dale Turner, “’Dagwood’ Image Hides the True Value of Fatherhood: It’s No Minor Task to Mold Young Lives,” Seattle Times, 19 June 1993, 8(C).
2. William E. Schmidt, “For Town and Team, Honor Is Its Own Reward, “ New York Times, 22 May 1987, 1.
4. Michael Gurian, The Wonder of Boys (New York: Jeremy Tarcher/Putnam, 1960).
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