An Example to Follow

While having lunch with some officemates last Saturday, I was asking our newest team member about his family. 

I’ve known Reuel Canda and his family for seven years. They always struck me as the kind of Christians who don’t draw a lot of attention to themselves, but the number of lives they’ve touched is incalculable.

Edrei, the oldest son, recently got married and serves as our youth pastor and campus director in Victory Alabang. I’ve enjoyed working with him the past six years. While Reuel, the younger brother, just joined our team a few months ago.

I was trying to figure out how Reuel had become so well-adjusted. He’s easy to work with, respectful, low maintenance, and hard working. As we asked him questions, he responded in a very low-key manner, so we kept pressing. I remarked at all the great things Edrei said about his dad at his wedding.

Finally Reuel said:

My dad is really great. I’ve just never had to look anywhere else for an example to follow and look up to. (translated from Tagalog)

I looked at Dan, another colleague who is also a young father, and we were thinking the same thing. I said, “If Philip ever said that about me when he gets older, I would die a happy and fulfilled man.”

When my schedule is busy, it’s easy to focus on the pressing deadlines and events at work. And it’s also easy to forget the importance of daily building my family by spending time with my wife and son. Sometimes, when Philip becomes needy, I think he’s being a distraction from the work I need to finish.

I was grateful for Reuel’s honest, unrehearsed statement because it reminded me of what’s really important in life. At the end of the day, other people can do my job at work. But only I am the husband to my wife and the father to my child.

Thanks Reuel for that lesson! And thank you, Tito Ernie and Tita Norie for raising your sons so well!

Here’s a podcast where I used this story as an illustration in my preaching. Click the link to play it or right-click and save to download it.

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