Mornings in our home always began with the sound of your praying. Your relationship with the Lord etched itself into my life and made me long for my own daily hour of prayer. In my teen years, instead of chasing girls and fads, I was finding my own holy ground everyday as I saw you do. Your walk with God continues to influence mine to this day.
In my young years, I would look forward to seeing you come home with a new joke or story about what happened at work. When you became leader for our Cub Scout pack, we got to go fishing and camping instead of just doing crafts all the time. You took the family to our cabin in the woods and taught us how to shoot a rifle. You taught us to work, but let us be kids, too.
I remember mornings together as a family when you read to us out of that fat, red Bible. We had many discussions about God and life together based on His Word. That devotion time gave us focus and clarity for the day.
You overcame a lot to become the man of God we know now. During the time you struggled to overcome your scars from the past, we supported you. Once the Lord had uprooted those feelings of hurt and bitterness, you never said a negative word about either of your parents, yet you told many stories of your childhood and good times with your folks. You set a strong example against the spirit of this age to dishonor and blame parents.
Thank you for bringing me among people who knew the depths of prayer and how to be used of God. A hunger for the deep things of God began in my youth and continues until this day from being around people given to prayer, fasting, and studying the Scriptures. Thanks for giving me room to pursue those things and for limiting my exposure to worldly influences. You never pressured me to go into the ministry. You never made me be spiritual. You provided the right climate and let me grow at my own pace.
When I took off to make life work on my own, you did not stand in my way. Even when I made wrong decisions, you let me learn the hard way. What kept me from straying too far were the things that had become a natural part of life while in your home: prayer, Bible, and church.
As a parent myself now, I am always seeking resources to guide me in raising my own kids. You are still one of the best.
Daniel Koren, a minister and writer, is the grateful son of Roger and Cheryl Koren. Daniel, a father of six, seeks to encourage and equip apostolic fathers at devotionswithdad.com.
This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of the Pentecostal Herald.