18 Years Ago

So today is just another day in the Barrineau house. We got up, ate breakfast, and got some chores done around the house. I went to the grocery store for the next week and we cooked some lunch when I got home so that we could eat and watch the Clemson football game.

Then I received a text from my mom reminding me that today is September 15th. That may not seem like a particularly important day, but it is incredibly important for me. This is the day that my dad passed away 18 years ago. My life 18 years ago was one of struggle. I was struggling physically, spiritually, and mentally. I had just met a new girl and we were figuring out what our relationship was going to look like in the future (spoiler alert: her name is Jennifer and we have been married for over 13 years at this point.) There were many things in my life back then that were in flux, but my dad loved me throughout this tumultuous time in my life. My dad was always there for me no matter what was going on in my life. Reflecting back on who my dad was these last 18 years, I have realized that even though he went to be with the Lord in heaven before I was married and had kids, he taught me much about what it means to be a parent. Here is one big theme I’ve been thinking about today, the 18th anniversary of his death

Disciple your kids like it’s your last day here-

I never expected my dad to pass away my sophomore year of college. I wish he could have been here to meet my future wife and my future kids, but after thinking through who my dad was and what he taught me today I realized that he was a part of them. My dad did an incredible job of teaching me to live a Matthew 22:36-40 life.  My dad taught me through word and deed to love God first and then through that love of God to love others. He taught me what it meant to be a husband that loved God and through that love of God to love his wife first and then his kids. He was a man that was humble in spirit that did not want to be recognized but just wanted to serve God well wherever he was called to serve. My dad took to heart Deuteronomy 6 and taught me about God no matter what we were doing. My dad wasn’t a perfect man, but he was a man that glorified God in his imperfection.

I could go on forever about all of the things that I learned from my dad, but I don’t want this post to be over 10,000 words. I was 19 years old when my dad passed away. I’ve never really thought about everything that he taught me when he was still on the earth. It is a sobering reminder that James 4:14 is true and that we don’t know if we will be here on Earth or in our eternal resting place tomorrow. My dad discipled me every day that he was here, and I pray that I will do the same for my boys. They may not realize it but Grandad Billy is still teaching them today through what he taught me over the first 19+ years of my life.

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