It was past midnight when I got home after a long shift at the hospital. As I quietly unlocked the front door and stepped inside, soft lamplight illuminated the living room, revealing my dad’s work clothes, shoes, and belt laid neatly on the couch. In several hours, he’d wake and head to the factory where he worked, picking up a coworker along the way. After work, he’d help my mom with supper and dishes, then mow the lawn or tend to other chores. He’d do it all over again the next day, and the next, and the next.
On the surface, my dad’s routine seems simple. But it represents a striking contrast to my generation. Gen Z isn’t known for its faithfulness. Young people are frequently characterized as noncommittal, distracted, and fickle. Both FOMO (fear of missing out) and FOBO (fear of better options) run rampant in our minds as we navigate the world of social media, only adding to our internal angst. We’re often thought to lack work ethic and fidelity—perhaps that’s why my father’s faithfulness had such an effect on me.
My dad’s work ethic is second to none, and it pours over into everything he does, whether it’s mowing the lawn just right or reading the Bible in the mornings as he eats breakfast. My dad’s faithfulness in every area of life has influenced how I approach work and school.
My dad’s faithfulness in every area of life has infuenced how I approach work and school.
Even more, though, his faithfulness has influenced me spiritually. My dad’s example of faith and discipline in reading the Bible and living the Christian life has continued to encourage me to be faithful in all I do, reflecting the words of Luke 16:10: “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much” (CSB).
Faithful in Discipleship
My dad made a point to read the Bible to our family at the end of supper each night. His faithfulness to engage us with God’s Word greatly improved my biblical literacy. It taught me from a young age the importance of reading the Scriptures daily as a foundation for spiritual growth.
As I progressed through nursing school, it was tempting to let my Bible reading and church involvement fall on the back burner amid the demands of my program. But the example of my dad’s faithfulness helped me to be disciplined and fight for my time with God—and I was richly rewarded for it. Where other students had anxiety, I had peace. Where other students chased the highs of partying and fleeting pleasures, I was helped by my dad’s faithful example to focus on Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).
Faithful in Service
My dad is faithful in caring for those who are less fortunate in our community and in the world. For years, he served on the board of our church’s outreach and missions organization. This meant he was gone more often than not on Saturday mornings, packaging food for the less fortunate in Haiti or renovating a home for a member of our community. I got to help him on some of these occasions and was continuously struck by his humility and by the excellence he applied to his work.
The example of my dad’s faithfulness helped me to be disciplined and fight for my time with God.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I now understand my dad was living out the love of Christ by exemplifying Proverbs 14:31: “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” This example of humility and kindness has pushed me to be considerate and compassionate toward others, especially those less fortunate than me.
It should be clear my dad is a godly man and faithful in many ways. But as great as I think my dad is, he isn’t godly because he’s so pious or because he works hard. No, my dad is a godly man because he’s been changed from the inside out by God, who removed his heart of stone and gave him a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26). My dad is faithful because the One who called him is faithful (1 Thess. 5:24). May he alone get blessing, honor, and glory for all the things my dad has done right.
The Gospel Coalition