Final words of advice from Dad – Part 1

My Dad’s temporary journey on earth ended on January 6, 2014. Knowing his time was short, I sat with him for several hours during his final days. In an attempt to “keep him with me”, I asked him many questions. (My Dad was always powerfully simple.)

This week I’ll share his answers to five of my questions.

Question #1: Dad, what advice would you give me as a Dad?

  • Stay as close to God as you can
  • Try to be an example . . . I know I failed sometimes & always felt inadequate
  • Read your Bible daily
  • Pray for your kids individually every night

As he talked I typed into the notes app on my iPhone. Then he continued, “You know, it’s hard for a kid to grow up and become something special without the intervention of his father. I prayed every night that God would make champions out of you three kids. Now, I thank him that he did.”

I felt the tears. I blinked a few times. Noticed the lump in my throat. Then cleared my throat. And said, “Thank you for being a great Dad and praying for me.”

Then I asked Question #2: Dad, what advice would you give me as a husband?

I’ll share his simple answer tomorrow.

Our conversation will be better if you participate.

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13 thoughts on “Final words of advice from Dad – Part 1

  1. He’s pulling for us to be His disciple…..not pushing us to be something else. I’m reading a book by Dallas Willard, Living In Christ’s Presence, which has made this clearer to me than I have ever understood it. I love simple answers like your Dad (and my Dad) blessed us by sharing.

      • I forgot how much I enjoyed his thoughts. I was given this book by him and John Ortberg for Christmas. It’s wonderful. There’s a DVD that goes with it that I haven’t looked at yet. I usually like to read the book before watching the video. Enjoy this beautiful week!

  2. Thanks for sharing Mark. You were blessed through God through your Dad. That wisdom is so very important to pass down to your sons and daughters.

    I speak for the many that don’t have a godly father on earth. We have the same Father in heaven. The wisdom you shared is applicable to all. I remember thirty years ado when I went to an evangelism conference in behalf of our church. The last day they had each of the six speakers share two things. One positive aspect of their ministry and one regret of something they could go back and change. It ended up that each shared a completly different positive thing, but all shared the same regret. That regret was simple…. They each wished they spent more time with their kids.

    That hit me like a right cross from George Forman. At the time I was Chairman of the board, lead two home groups, and taught one on one discipleship all while running a business. I went home and resigned my chairmanship. Had another person in each small small group take over the leadership. Then I spent more time with my three year old son. That is not a decision I regret. He is a wonderful husband and father today.

    Sometime we want to just be busy for the Lord thinking that is what is needed to serve. I found greater truth in being busy with the right things. God’s got a plan for each of us but clear guidelines for us as fathers and husbands.

    Looking forward to hearing the husband advice.

    • Thanks Chuck. So true. No one ever regrets spending too much time with their kids do they? I’m not always good in this area but I sure want to be. Thanks for the encouragement friend!


    • That’s a great question. Obviously, Scripture commands us to honor our parents. In Scripture we see Joseph honoring his Dad (Jacob) at the end of Jacob’s life. But there are no specific “how to’s” that I’m aware of. If you’re looking for support, one option may be to contact your local ombudsman to discover any resources. While I served as a Hospice Chaplain, I discovered that this is one of the most stressful and emotionally challenging seasons of life. Hang in there. Praying for you.

  4. I think this is so lovely. But I often think of kids that don’t have a Father like yours. I know I didn’t. While my Dad is saved now….growing up he was an alcoholic… which had a profound effect on myself and my siblings. Each different. I’m so blessed to have reached where I have. But never do I feel I missed something..not having a father’s guidance during those years. This has shown me how I should pray for my kids daily. They need it in so many ways. I also work with kids. Never have I seen such disarray in families. Love reading this Mark.