Although he does not attend Crossway, I am excited to commend my dad to you. While I could never adequately thank him for all he has done, I am overjoyed to be able to honor him for the twenty-four years he has dedicated to teaching, training, and loving me.
As I was growing up, a common Jaenke household ritual included family devotions and worship. My dad, the greatest guitar player in the world, led us in singing songs about God’s faithfulness and love, having confidence in Christ, how to praise God, and His role creating “all the little fishies” (as my brother and I would dance around the room donning fins and puckered lips… as aforementioned little fishies). My dad’s leadership in guiding our family in studying scripture together instilled in me the daily necessity for God’s word. Dad took us through The Beginners’ Bible when my brother and I were young, a study of the names of God during our middle school years, and regularly had us share what God was teaching us during personal devotions during high school years. Waking up each morning to see my dad studying the Bible also spoke volumes to me about the importance of living a life saturated with scripture.
I have come to respect many things about my dad that I lacked an appreciation for earlier in life. One of these is his influence on my perception of how I view God’s character, particularly in reference to God being called “Father.” Much of my view of God as Father has come directly from the relationship I have with my earthly father. He showed me forgiveness when I sinned against him. He provided for my needs—needs I was both aware of and unaware of. He protected me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Most amazing of all, he showed me love when my actions were entirely void of love toward him. Though my dad is quick to confess his shortcomings while raising my brother and I, I have a greater love for my heavenly Father because of him. Thank you, Dad. I love you.
written by Elaine Jaenke