The same house, same address, same bedroom, same phone number, same neighbors, same schools and the same parents.  That was my childhood.  That was my stability growing up in Wichita, Kansas.  This is also very rare in our society today.  If nothing else, the divorce rate in our nation makes the same parents almost an exception rather than the rule by about half.

As I think back to my childhood, I find myself being contemplative about what made it work to mold me into what I am today.  I have a successful and sacrificial long history of one sacrificial occupation, lifetime marriage since the age of 20, adopted daughters, grandsons, long history of travel as an adult, landscaping ability and happiness.  Both of my parents played a major part in molding me in my childhood, but for now, let’s focus on a father and his son.

My memories of my deceased father include him working hard to make ends meet.  I know now how tiring that must have been for him.  We never had what I would call a lot of money but never a shortage of love.  We never lacked for the essentials but never were spoiled with the lavish extremes in life. I was always told by my mother that as a little boy, I asked my father, “Daddy, do you have to go to work tonight?”  She said that sincerity, brown eyes and obvious love for my father made it more difficult for him to leave home.  I wanted to be with him because I loved him.  He usually always worked two jobs to make ends meet out of necessity.  He really had no choice.

He worked at home as well.  The two large gardens required day after day of labor during the summer.

I remember the lights hanging from the trees so he could see after dark to run the tiller through the soil. On our acre, we had a beef fattening up for food, ducks, chickens, guineas, rabbits and always a single dog.  He even bought us a Shetland pony which didn’t last long as it kept bucking everybody off.

The landscaping required what seemed like constant watering with hoses strung from two outdoor pumps.  I remember the weekends when he would drive the pipes down into the ground so we could have three wells and electrical pumps on the property.  I remember the time that he took to please my mother by helping her with her large amount of beautiful flower beds.  He even built her a greenhouse attached to the garage.  He would try to fix the automobiles himself when they broke down to save money.  He was always working on our house and even built a basement underneath it.  He wouldn’t object when it came time for medical care, piano lessons, school clothes or supplies, and even little league baseball.  He became our coach and always let the kids nobody else wanted to be on our team.  I know it was a great sacrifice for him to provide for it all.

I loved my father and desired to obey him as I think on it.  Perhaps that is the reason I never really caused him any trouble to speak of in life.  I never indulged in immorality, alcohol, drugs, reckless driving, fighting at school, or much of anything else that would be considered rebellious in my childhood before leaving for Bible college at the age of 17.  I worked since the age of 12, mowing yards, three paper routes, and then at the grocery store at the age of 16.  I no doubt learned a strong work ethic by watching my father.

A familiar Scripture says, “...and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’.” (Luke 3:22).  God loved his Son.  Scripture also says, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Jesus knew his father loved him and Jesus always obeyed him.

Jesus chose to obey His father even to the agony suffered all the way to his death on the cross because his father loved him, and he loved his father.  “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8). Jesus obeyed his Father’s will through it all for us.  It was the ultimate sacrifice because of His love to please His father and provide for all of us.  The ultimate true story of a Father and His Son.