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I Was Irrelevant Last Night

A rare opportunity to see—and listen to—the fruit of godly fatherhood.
By Suzanne Thomas

Recently I had surgery on a foot and was laid up for a few weeks. While I wasn’t crazy about the pain or the inconvenience, I am willing to admit I enjoyed how my family took care of me during that time.

One evening my two sons, both young adults, picked up dinner at a local restaurant and brought it over so they could eat and visit with my husband and me.  Good food, great company, fun conversation with my family … what could be better?

After we ate, my husband and sons took our dogs outside, and I got a diet soda, hobbled to the deck, propped up my foot, and waited for their return.  Then I heard them start to talk … and talk … and talk.  I couldn’t help but eavesdrop—they were right below me!

Sometimes their voices would drop to almost a whisper, and I would hear various words like, “how to date” … “what to look for in a wife” … or “saving for retirement.”  Then at other times, I would hear loud laughter as they traded stories from the Navy, the fire station, and even, “You won’t believe what happened the first few years I was married to your mother!”

Of course this conversation didn’t include me, but I didn’t mind feeling irrelevant.  I was listening to the fruit of over 20 years of my husband spending time with his sons and developing a relationship with them.  I thought of Deuteronomy 6:6-9, which says:  “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” 

My husband had spent over 20 years teaching God’s Word to our kids and living it out faithfully.  They knew he believed God’s Word, that he was the real deal, and that he loved them.

When they played sports, he was there.  When they had homework, he made sure they did it, and when they needed help, we both helped them with it.  When they had questions about life when they were little, they got answers.  When he worked on our cars, he had the boys there with him.  We often camped as a family together, and we had many late-night conversations around the campfire.  So many conversations, stories from our childhoods, and always so much love.  There was always discipline, too, with love.

As I sat listening to their long conversation, I could have interrupted at any moment to say, “Hey!  Don’t forget I’m up here waiting on you guys,” and they would have happily joined me.  But it made me genuinely happy to listen to my sons interacting with their dad.  They can ask him anything, and he will share practical advice, biblical wisdom, and often lots of laughs also. 

As a mother, I relish the fact that my sons are not going to the internet or to ungodly sources for advice.  They are going to the wisest and most godly man I know. 

I’m not always irrelevant.  Just sometimes, and that’s okay.


Copyright © 2014 by FamilyLife.  All rights reserved.

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