Every dad is leaving a legacy which will impact future generations of his family long after he is dead and gone. This reality is clear in my own family through the testimony of my fathers.
My great-grandfather, Benjamin Board, known as Benny, was from a rural area of northern Missouri. Unfortunately, he was a drunk, physically abusive to my great-grandmother, besides being opposed to the gospel of Christ. While he was dying of pancreatic cancer in a Kansas City hospital, a preacher by the name of Jimmy O’Dell who was married to Benny’s cousin went to visit him and see about the state of his soul. Whether or not my great-grandfather trusted Christ as his Savior before he died is something that has been lost to history. Not too long after this, my great-grandmother died of tuberculosis and their children were split-up amongst the family.
My grandfather, Kenneth Board, known as Kenny, was raised along with his younger sister, Dorothy, by their grandparents during “The Great Depression” of the 1930s. Kenny eventually enlisted in the Army during WWII and served honorably in the Philippines. After the war, he worked in the steel mills of northern Indiana. It was at that time that he met and married my grandmother and they raised their three sons in the religious tradition of her side of the family. He battled his own demons which surely resulted from the brokenness of his past and the horrors of military combat. Kenny died of a heart attack in the summer of 1989 while fishing right here in Wisconsin.
My father, Kenneth Ray Board, known as Kenny Ray, was the oldest of these three sons. Dad enlisted in the Marine Corps at the end of the Vietnam War but was never deployed. He married my mom in the summer of ’73 and they had four children which they raised in the religious tradition of his upbringing. In the early ‘80s, economic downturn affected our family but God used the circumstances to capture Dad’s heart. This spiritual revival especially influenced the second of their brood who was yours truly, Timmy Ray.
Fatherhood automatically impacts future generations by passing on a legacy either of brokenness or faithfulness. Our children and grandchildren will find their identity in this legacy which will therefore shape their lives. They will either live from their father’s approval or for their father’s approval. Their hearts desperately need to know the heart of the Heavenly Father who loves them like their earthly fathers never could. This is the greatest love worth finding which is vested in the Person of God Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for sinners so that they could be restored to the Father by His grace through faith alone. Personally, it is my prayer that my six children would be grateful to God for the legacy they have received from their fathers. This Father’s Day, may you be intentional to leave a legacy of faithfulness that will positively impact future generations for God’s glory!
“Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” Psalm 78:4b NKJV
*Published in the Adams-Friendship Times-Reporter: June 2017