Lessons I learned from my Mom & Dad
June 15, 2016
There are milestones in life that are worthy of significant celebration, and in the Fisher family this past weekend we honored my Mom & Dad for 60 years of marriage and Dad’s 80th birthday. My brothers, my sister, and I are so blessed to have been raised in a home where faith in Jesus Christ was the priority, where respect and love for others was modeled, where love for the church and love for the Word of God was a fabric of our lives, and where “honor your father and mother” was not difficult. We were loved, encouraged, and supported.
Both the Apostles Paul and John spoke of the role of spiritual fathers in the faith, mature men whose lives have endured the test of time and have been proven faithful and true in their pursuit of Christ. They are to be honored, respected, learned from, and imitated.
I believe my Dad is such a man, and my Mother is such a woman.
In 1 Corinthians 4:14-16, Paul wrote:
14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.
John, in his first letter, addressed spiritual babies, little children, young men, and fathers.
1 John 2:12–14 (NASB)
12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.
13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.
14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
What can you and I do to ensure that when we look back on our life, there are no regrets? In observing my Mom and Dad’s lives and experiences over the years, here are some of the key points that I think are worthy of being followed.
It can be summarized in Colossians 3:17.
17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Throughout my life I observed my Mom and Dad live out their lives committed to honoring Christ in everything. They laid down their lives for their kids and for others. They lived out the gospel in encouraging others to pursue Christ. They treated everyone with respect and their lives were always open to others.
Our home was always open. Ministry was always happening. Making disciples of Jesus Christ was the defining activity of our home and their lives. Before men’s Bible studies were popular and a part of many ministries, Dad was doing it. He met in the community room of a bank and dozens of men gathered to study the Word. It was a part of his ministry throughout his time as a pastor.
Paul gave some practical application to living out the life of the gospel.
Colossians 3:12–16 (NASB)
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
If I had to pick a passage that defined the lives of my Mom and Dad, these verses would be my choice. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience—are words that everyone who knows them would use to describe them. Their greatest passion is to see others come to faith and grow and mature in faith. Their lives are built around the Word of God, living by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Students of the Word. Learning. Applying. Asking questions. Wrestling through difficult issues. Letting the peace of Christ rule in their lives and in their hearts.
The Apostle Paul addresses every aspect of life in the next few verses. Marriage, parenting, children, employers and employees (or slaves and masters), and then closing with spiritual guidelines that are applicable to everyone. A life lived without regret will be a life lived according to these instructions.
Colossians 3:18–25 (NASB)
18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.
20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
Colossians 4:1–6 (NASB)
1 Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;
4 that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.
5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.
6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Here are some keys to life that I learned from Mom and Dad:
- Devotion to Christ and devotion to the Word of God
- Treat everyone with dignity and respect regardless of race or social status
- Be quick to forgive and don’t let bitterness harden your heart
- Develop a life of prayer and complete submission to the will of God
- Pour out your life for others, especially your own children
- Do the right thing, even if you’re the only one doing it
- Look for the opportunities that God brings across your path
- Love, honor, and respect your spouse and teach your kids to do the same
- Honor your father and mother (I watched them both do this with their own parents)
My life is blessed because of the influence of my Mom and Dad. I can only hope that I have successfully passed these life lessons on to my own children, and to others who desire to live a life without regret.