ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in 2012
THE TWO OF you seem to struggle with this particular purchase each year…
It’s not that you have to give me anything. I understand that you would like to, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but it’s not necessary.
I don’t need another tie. (Don’t tell your mother I said that). I have plenty, and the ties I wear, I prefer to pick out myself anyway.
Clothes are hard to buy for me right now. Maybe it’s something in the Hattiesburg water, or it could be all of these great cooks who want to feed the preacher, but I’ve gained nearly 30 pounds since we’ve moved to South Mississippi! (Mom keeps patting me on the belly and asking, “When’s the baby due…?”) Clothes that fit are needed, but finding the right size is something of a challenge. Let me go to the store instead, if you don’t mind.
Books are always good, but unless you know exactly what particular subject I’m studying right now, another volume might just take up precious shelf space.
Your mother and I have been looking at outdoor grills as of late. Ever since we left our Weber in Indiana, the two of us have had this craving for barbeque chicken. That would be a special gift, but I know it’s out of both of your budgets—and that’s okay. Roger’s Movie Star chicken is better than anything I could cook up anyway.
I’ll tell you what I’d really like—what means the most to me, and I’ve already received it. I’d like your continued faithfulness to the Lord (Matt. 25:23; Eph. 1:1; Rev. 2:10).
Your mother and I pray for the two of you every day. We always have. Even when you were both just infants in our arms, we petitioned the Lord on your behalf. We prayed that both of you would develop your own faith. We prayed that both of you would find and marry young Christian men who would help you to go to heaven—and vice versa. We prayed that both of you would raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
I could own all of the best ties in the world, I could wear the nicest, best-fitting shirts Turtle Creek Mall has to offer, and I could have the best library in the brotherhood—but these gifts wouldn’t mean anything if the two of your weren’t following the Savior. The truth is, my greatest Father’s Day gift can’t be wrapped up in a package or stuffed into an envelope with a funny Hallmark card. Your devotion to Jesus Christ is what I covet the most.
Katie, you’ll be headed for Freed-Hardeman, Lord willing, next year, and then both of you will be away from home. Mom and I aren’t quite prepared for that yet, but the transition will be made easier because we know that you and Bethany hold certain spiritual priorities (Matthew 6:33; 2 Timothy 1:5):
I’m proud of you both. You’re wonderful Christian daughters!
PS: Okay, I take it back, a book would be good too.