Years later the son had his own family, a wife and two sons of his own. Now married himself, he worked as a vice president at the largest community bank in town. His father had passed away a few years before, he had met only one of his son's two sons. One evening after coming home beat tired from the bank, the son arrived, took his shoes off at the front door, went into the hall bath and washed his hands. He then called out to his wife and then his sons. Finding them in the kitchen, he walks in and after gently kissing his bride sweetly on her cheek opens the fridge. His wife sternly yells out, "Don't spoil your appetite honey, dinner is about done, it's already half on the table."
The boy, now man, realizes in an instant the meaning and its lessons. His father's routine and what it all meant. The shoes outside the house showed his respect for how his wife was caring for their home. He appreciated her attention to detail, order and tidiness. Washing of the hands was about his interest in leaving work and other outside elements behind and focusing his attention on home and his family within. Calling out to his wife, always his wife first, showed his love for her as his queen and the very center of his life. No questions, no gray area.
What about the open fridge? His father was staring into that fridge as confirmation to himself that he was getting the really important things right. He was taking good care of his family. A full fridge gave him a sense of pride, a feeling of completion. It made everything that he had to go through to create a full fridge worth the struggle, pressures and often times self sacrifice. That fridge gave him permission to exhale, to operate in a space of exaltation. Opening the fridge was not about being hungry. Opening that fridge was feeding his spirit with the knowing that he had not let his family down.
It is important to remember that fathers have a heavy load to bear. They rarely discuss the many sacrifices they make to bring security to their family. Fathers are proud and it is demoralizing to them when they feel under appreciated in their home. Whether it is "the fridge" or something else, we must salute their efforts and must honor their outcomes.
Proverbs 22:6 says, "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Deuteronomy 5:16: "Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you."