Every May 25th – at our house we celebrate the birth of a great man in history; he is a man whom few know much about. That is usually the case, that the truly great men are little known. They do not seem to mind. But if there were more of this type of man in our world, what a difference it would make. In fact, it would change the world. This particular man is a man with great vision, a man of humility – a leader, a calm, patient and kind man, one whose convictions run deep, but his love runs deeper. He is not a reactionary man; he thinks before he speaks. And when he speaks, what he says is important. He is optimistic when things around him are discouraging. He smiles at the future, even when it is uncertain, because of his unrelenting faith in a God Who keeps His promises. He loves his wife and children and is committed to them in ways that few could ever understand. I wish every man could spend time with this man – to learn his ways and follow his heart. Yes, his heart – it is the greatest part about this man. It is full of wisdom and understanding that come through in everyday life situations. He is a great husband, loving his wife unconditionally; he is a great dad – when other dads have ruled with an iron fist and a loud voice, this one has used a spirit of gentleness and love. His eyes are continually toward the Lord as he prays for his family. With others, he is totally accepting – does not push himself on anyone – never feels he must be the center of attention. His ears and heart are always open to others. He does not give up; he assumes the best about people; he looks out for the interests of others more than his own; he trusts in God. He is truly an amazing person…my husband of 32 years and the father of all eight of my incredible children. He never pushes them to be what he wants them to be or do what he wants them to do, but quietly waits on the Lord for each of them. He is always there for who they are and whatever they are doing – and even though we have only one daughter, he dances with her as well!
He is now not only dad, but G-daddy, a very significant player in the lives of five young grandchildren and all of those grandchildren to come. I pray that his children and grandchildren grow up to imitate the “heart” of this great man – a heart that seeks, trusts, and loves God.
One son wrote….
“Hey Dad…I want to tell you that I love you and that I consider it a joy to have grown up under your fathering. I still remember when you would sing and pray with us before we went to bed. Those types of things laid a foundation of love and care that has made me who I am. You have always demonstrated what it means to be a man of integrity, servant, father, hard worker, thinker, and teacher. Those things are what is central to biblical masculinity. Happy birthday! Know that I love you and am looking forward to growing even closer to you as I enter these next stages of my life.”
Happy Birthday Bob, dad, g-daddy – (we use many nicknames in our house, presently Bob’s is “Pal.”) At the end of the day, I am so grateful that on this day in history, God chose to make a great man…one about whom a book may never be written, but one who has changed our worlds and still touches the lives of whomever God brings in his path. Your smile is a blessing to all – we love you – Joy!