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Train Up a Child: A Lesson from a Dad

By Pat Lamb

No matter how old we get, when Father’s Day comes, our thoughts naturally turn to our dads and what they mean to us. My dad taught me a lesson that I would like to share with you.

We had about 24 cows to milk most of the time on our little farm in Verona, MO. I liked to tag along with my dad on summer evenings when he went down into the pasture to bring them up for milking. On one hot summer evening, I was tagging along behind him watching the little puffs of dust come from under my bare feet on the dry, dusty cow path. Suddenly he stopped, squatted down, and pulled a blade of grass.

Columnist Pat Lamb

My dad sat for a while looking at that blade of grass. First he looked on the underneath side of it, and then he rolled it over and looked at the top of it. I could tell that my dad was having deep, serious thoughts.

“Patsy,” he said, “jest look at this blade of grass. Look at all the little hairs on it. Look at all the little lines going here and there on it.” About that time, an airplane flew overhead. My dad looked up at the sky and said, “You know, man can make an airplane and fly. Why, someday, who knows, man may even be able to go to the moon and back, but don’t you ever forget that only God can make a blade of grass!”

I haven’t forgotten that lesson. Sure enough, man has gone to the moon and back, and man has done much more. Man has even learned to clone animals and humans, but man will never be able to make a blade of grass.

Some of the best teaching parents can do comes at opportune moments when least expected. Impromptu teaching of values can only come if a parent’s heart is right and the desire to teach is there. Just as we walk every day and never give a thought to the grass we are treading upon, so do we often let day after day go by and never give a thought to the many opportunities for teaching children.

The best planned lessons from the most educated of teachers may not be as effective as a lesson given from the heart of a dad. Sure, mom has plenty of input, but there is something extra special when a dad puts his effort into working with his children. A dad should think of the home as his piece of the world. It is his to govern and support. It is something he owns in partnership with mom. Mom is his helper as he rules his “little country”.

Whether or not a dad wants this responsibility, it is his, and God will hold him accountable for how he conducts himself with this assignment. In God’s sight, just because a man left a home, his responsibilities have not been erased. Bringing children into the world places the responsibility of rearing them squarely on the dads. Nothing can take that away.

This Father’s Day, let us be grateful and express that gratefulness to our dads. There are many fine dads who take their responsibilities very seriously and they deserve to be honored. Oh, that there were more dads who did so!

(The comments on this page are the opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of Branson Globe, or its staff. Want to weigh-in? Have something to say? Share it with us in your own Letter to the Editor. See submission guidelines in lower left corner of this page.)

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