The father of this family

June 23rd, 2010

Joe, holding his seventh son, Stephen (who was captivated by the animatronic dinosaur in the Creation Museum)!

Every Father’s Day for the past several years, the children and I have worked on what we call a “Daddy Album” for Joe.

I put in a good photo of all the children, with an ultrasound picture of the new baby, if one is on the way.  We use another page for a Father’s Day card with some sort of gift from all the children inside, sometimes a gift certificate, sometimes cash.  Then each child gets a full page spread for a couple of pictures from the past year, and space to write words of honor to their father.  I usually think of a question for them to answer, or a statement for them to finish.

This year, the three oldest boys finished the sentence that began, “If it wasn’t for Dad, we wouldn’t…”

I spent some time vividly describing what “dead-beat dad” meant, to give them a little perspective.  This goes beyond, “If it wasn’t for Dad, we wouldn’t be here.”  I want them to know enough about that kind of male to appreciate a hero when they see one!

Here are a few of their responses~

…be home educated.
…be part of a home fellowship.
…have such a well-supported big family.
…have a big picnic.
…have nice physical things, such as good technology, air conditioning
, plenty of food, working tools, etc…too many things to recall or fit here.
…have Bible Time.
…have a safe home environment
[He meant safe in every way, including morally.  I asked.] with a good atmosphere.
…know the first thing about math, science, mechanics, finances, etc.
…have the many improvements on the property we now enjoy, such as the grain mill cupboard, attic insulation and renovated bedrooms.
…have much of the wisdom, discernment, Godly teaching and principles we now are indebted to you for.

An excerpt from one son’s addendum~

“Thank you for always providing for us. Thank you for teaching us and correcting us and being a godly influence in our lives. Thank you for following God’s will.”

The rest of the children (more or less independently) finished the sentence that began, “My daddy works hard to…”

A sampling of their responses~

…make a playroom.
…bang with a nail.
…take care of our big family.
…not be tempted by evil things.
…plan school for us.
…teach us to sing.
…build the shelves.
…plow the garden.
…teach the Bible to us.
…not eat too much dessert.
…build things we need.
…follow God.

These responses reflect what they see their father faithfully doing, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.  Once he is convinced of what God wants him to think, or to believe, or to say, or to do, that becomes his new goal.  He is a real man, a man who selflessly takes on his responsibility to lay down his life daily for his family out of love and obedience to his God.

<I hope this surprise brings you joy and not embarrassment, my dear.  I am proud and happy to be your wife, and only more so as the years go by and I watch God conform you to the image of His Son.  And I am thankful to be at your side as He sends us on this new adventure together.  Very soon!>

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2 Responses to “The father of this family”

  1. Wonderful!  Thanks for sharing.   Maybe I will try that next year!  :)

  2. Danielle says:

    Great picture, Susanna.  I am thinking of you, and praying for you and Verity.  I love her name.  I don’t know if I told you before that my brother’s four year old daughter is a Verity.  What a great job you did, leading the children to honor their Daddy that way.  Very creative idea with the book, it may be stolen :)

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