Father’s Day Memories
As Father’s Day approaches, I think back to my childhood. Growing up, our family considered ourselves Roman Catholic, but it was not a personal belief for me.
My father was loving, passionate and loved to joke. But he also harbored deep-seated bitterness and resentment; when alcohol was added to the mix it was often explosive and could turn violent. Mom would often encourage him to change but would also join him in drinking. Fear, violence and drunkenness were a way of life in our house. We had fun times as well, but there was not much modeling of Christianity.
I don’t say this to garner sympathy or belittle my now passed-on parents, but to give background. Reflecting, I see that they dealt with life as they knew how—as they wanted. This would be my pattern as well, as I modeled my dad in many ways, even though I despised his lifestyle.
Drunkenness, drugs, promiscuity, immorality, idolatry, and other sinful patterns became a way of living. I searched for this “God of love” that I heard about from time to time (and saw reflected in a few) but would not come to find Him for some time.
A New Foundation
Finally, in February of 1994, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I knelt at my bed and prayed, “If you will save me, and you want me, here I am.” He drastically changed my life and allowed me to begin reflecting Him to everyone who knew me, especially my Catholic family.
After years of prayer, my parents both gave their lives to Jesus: my mom shortly before her death from cancer and my dad after he underwent heart surgery.
I now have an incredibly godly woman as my wife, who was raised in a missionary home in Quebec. Sara and I have five children now, and we have been serving with Village Missions for fifteen years. In that time we’ve seen many of my family members come to Christ, and our children have all asked Jesus into their lives and accepted Him as Lord and Savior as well.
Sara and I built our home with Jesus the center, and now I get to be a dad who, while not perfect, has Biblical values and a heritage that brings God glory. I am a first generation Christian in my family, but it seems that there will be a second and more.
On This Father’s Day
Happy Father’s Day, Heavenly Father! I hope You know how much I love You. And Happy Father’s Day to you too, Dad. I hope you’re enjoying your heavenly Father now that you are in our real home.
Mike & Sara MacWhinnie have 5 children and have served Village Missions churches in New Hampshire, Kansas, and Pennsylvania over the last 15 years.