It's difficult to name just five things, but here are five things that my father did that have helped me to become a better husband, father, pastor and follower of Jesus.
1. He's modeled patience, unconditional love, compassion and acceptance.
These are at the core of what it means to become like Jesus, and my father modeled these for me incredibly well.
2. He's encouraged me when I've messed up, and reminded me of God's faithfulness in the face of my failures.
I'll never forget receiving a simple note written on a sheet of yellow legal paper that my father slipped me at a very critical time in my life. He expressed his belief in me, and then proceeded to remind me that even if I failed and messed up that it was God's faithfulness, not mine, that should define my future. The truth of 2nd Timothy 2:13 written on that note has come back to me more times than I can remember, and every time it has encouraged me to rely even more on fully on the faithfulness of God.
3. He's invested time with me hunting, fishing, hiking, working, and worshiping.
There's nothing more valuable to children than time with their parents. Nothing. (If it doesn't seem like that's the case for you and your children now...wait another decade or two)
4. He's loved my mother and his children well.
By well I simply mean that we were his priority ahead of career, hobbies, and hanging with friends.
5. He's chosen to serve others rather than to be served by others.
Never demanding to be served, but always looking for ways to serve and help others. Both he and my mother modeled a life of humility and selfless-ness that reminds me a lot of Philippians 2.
My prayer is that as leaders in our homes, church, and community; the fathers in our church would live out this kind of love, patience, and humble leadership.
Happy Father's Day