I Would Give It All Up in a Second 

One Saturday morning, all of the kids were sitting on Dad’s bed. He was still in his pajamas, and we were just talking. At that point in our lives, all of us had made some kind of profession of Christian faith. 

One of us asked if Dad had done anything special to help bring this to pass. He said that he and Mom had prayed for each of us every day, and had done everything they could to instruct us in the faith, but that it was ultimately not something they had done, but rather God’s work in us. 

Then he stretched out his hands, indicating the bedroom and the rest of the house, and said something I will always remember: “The Lord has blessed us with many good things, but one thing your mother and I have always felt: we would give all this up in a second in exchange for each one of you knowing the Lord.”

I remember thinking to myself at the time: “Well, that’s got to be a major part of the equation. Anyone who is that dedicated to getting something to happen will have a significant impact.” 

As I think back over the years, I can see that this was not an exaggeration on Dad’s part. He and Mom consistently made choices that showed that God was first in their lives, and showed the importance they placed on each of us kids knowing the Lord personally. 

Mom and Dad worked hard to provide for the family, but they worked hardest at providing the most important thing for their kids – an environment in which we could come to know, love and serve God.

This article is excerpted from an unpublished book, From Dad to Son: Things My Dad Taught Me About Life, © 2002 Ted Kennedy. Used with permission.

Top image credit: image of, from Bigstock.com, © , stock photo ID: 411401. Used with permission. 

Top image credit: photo of two families praying together at table, from BigStock.com, © by monkeybusinessimages, stock photo ID: 249216940. Used with permission. 

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