I am a father and a son. With that reality come a set of gifts and responsibilities.
Gary and Karen Mundis are my parents and I am their son. This is a truth to me like the sun will rise this morning and it will set again tonight. I was born into love and support. I didn’t earn it but I was given it because my mom and dad related to me as God intended parents to relate to their children. It didn’t cross my mind one single time that they would abandon me. I had all the typical doubts and fears of kids but I had the security of home, forgiveness and a place that I belonged as the backdrop of my life.
Since my parents loved me so much I wanted to love them in return. It was a response that made sense really. I wasn’t drumming something up out of the blue. What I was doing was as correct and expected as a reflection in a mirror. I learned to love, forgive, respect and care because those were the things given to me all the days of my life in Karen and Gary’s home. In a nutshell, my parents exposed me to the best of being a member of a family and that is the context of my life with them - even today.
Now, some of you might have a picture running through your minds of perfection, continuous smiles and no need for discipline. You would be wrong! Our family had raised voices, occasional punishment and plenty of need to forgive each other. We have had our moments of tension and like many kids I had plenty of “know-it-all” moments that were no fun for my folks. But in the end, I knew I was loved. I knew dad and mom would do anything to protect me and care for me.
Another wonderful aspect of my upbringing was an extended family dynamic that exposed me to the way my mom and dad treated their parents. Their respect, honor and gratitude were so continuous and consistent that I would have needed to be blind to miss it. I saw what it meant to honor your parents – no matter what age a son or daughter is. This isn’t just for the pre-adult years. So, I knew that just as I mattered to my parents; my grandparents mattered to my mom and dad as well. They didn’t just throw out words without weight. My folks gave time, energy and their lives to the people that had many years earlier raised them.
Then I became a dad. As glorious and terrifying as that can be I believed I knew what this fathering and parenting thing was primarily about. That was because of Gary [and Karen]. I remembered that I was loved, forgiven, picked up, disciplined and in the end it was all Good. I knew who I was and that is what I want for my kids – to know who they are in this world. They are mine and I am theirs!
I am an imperfect son and I am an imperfect father. I am desperately in need of grace and I receive it from my parents, my kids and my wife. They have an overflow of grace to give because of our perfect Heavenly Father and His perfect Savior Son Jesus.
Thankful for my earthly family and my heavenly one too,