The only lesson my father learned from his father was to live for self. After James I, each preceding generation blew more money, partied a little more, moved further and further from biblical living, and became increasingly foolish. Until God pulled me out of the pit, I was well on my way to surpassing them all on that path of wickedness.
My grandfather was married 8 times. Once, for only a day. His view of marriage affected those who came after him. Especially, it seems, James IV. And like my grandfathers before him, my father did not invest in his children. He did not invest in his wife. He invested in himself. Over the years, numerous inheritance checks made it into the hands of my father. Rather than saving it, investing it, or using it wisely, he immediately splurged it on his latest hobby: electric trains, ham radios, photography. It was as if he was an overgrown kid with no self control. And at the end of his life, James IV had nothing.
Well, almost nothing. He did have the love of this son.
I loved my father. And I have always tried to honor him. Some may wonder about my idea of honor after reading the paragraphs above. Others have asked how I could love a father who proved to be so unlovable. I do not believe we honor our parents by pretending they were something they were not.
Many Christians have fathers who exhibited honor and commitment throughout their lives: handing down wisdom and godly character traits to their children. How thankful they should be for such a precious Christian heritage—a sweet gift of God. But through God’s perfect providence, this was not my life.
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