“Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight…” Proverbs 4:1
I remember when this photo was taken. Owen, my first nephew was just born. There was excitement in the air because of the new life and we had to take a picture of the four generations of Welch men.
I remember even at the time having a strange feeling about this almost 5 years ago. Even though my grandfather was a Welch, I had no relationship with him. Don’t feel bad for me, actually, I mean, please do feel bad for me. However, who you should truly feel bad for is my father. See, if I had no relationship with my grandfather – my father had less so and he was raised by the man. (For those of you that don’t know the story of my grandpa, you should go read it here: https://thereforethecross.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/do-you-celebrate-a-wasted-life/)
My father broke a cycle of Welch men; my father despite his father, figured out what it meant to be a father and a husband.
I know, Father’s Day can unearth a lot of wounds in people. There are so many horrible father’s out there and the horribleness can take different forms. I know, because I saw the effects alcohol had on my grandfather and the wounds that produced in my father. It wasn’t a family secret, but it definitely isn’t something we proudly talked about.
We had hope for my grandfather for some years. How many years exactly? That’s a tough question to answer. By the time I was old enough to know fully what was going on, I would see others posting stories about their amazing grandfathers and wonder where mine was. Unfortunately, my Mom’s dad passed away before I was born. So, fast forward to me being able to comprehend who my grandfather was and I don’t know if I would honestly be able to tell you I had hope to have a relationship with my grandfather.
This lack of a grandfather relationship wounded me for sure. However, it’s a wound I’m grateful older men in my church community helped fill. I wasn’t stuck without older, grandfatherly type men in my life.
I’m so grateful, my dad (pictured below), met Jesus and redeemed our family history. I don’t like thinking about what would have happened had he not stopped the family cycle.
My Father is a good man, a great man. Yet, he is not perfect. Not that any father could ever be perfect. But, what I marvel at the older I get is how he did so much with so little.
He had no example of what it meant to be a good father, or a good man.
Yet, through the grace of Jesus and my Dad choosing to follow Jesus – he broke the cycle. He became a great father.
As a 29 year old man who can reflect on my Dad with what I’ve learned about life, relationships, leadership, and following Jesus I am eternally grateful for what God did in and through my Dad.
If you are reading this and you haven’t had a great example of what it means to be a man or a father, please have hope that you too can be one. You can break the cycle. You can be better than the man before you. It may seem hard and confusing at times, but you can change your family.
Dad, thanks for breaking the cycle.
Happy Father’s Day!