As far back as I can remember my parents have been teaching me about Jesus. Every evening we would turn off the T.V. and have a family time of Bible study and prayer. They simply sat us down and read the Bible with my brother, sister, and I. They made sure we understood that God’s love for us would never end and that He would meet all our needs. After Bible study, we would say our prayers together. My parents didn’t make us learn prayers that sounded all “churchy.” They told us just to talk honestly to God sharing our needs, fears, concerns, but mostly to thank, praise, and worship Him.
Another lesson they taught me was responsibility. I had chores that were my responsibility, and if I didn’t do them, they wouldn’t get done. I was to complete my chores in the proper amount of time and with the right kind of attitude. Trust me, it never paid to complain about my chores (I’ll let you figure out what happened when I complained). My chores were also to be done to the best of my ability. I was never allowed to do a job half-way. In today’s standards all this may sound harsh, but they taught me lessons I am still applying today. Everyday I try to do my best at my job; taking a sick day doesn’t happen unless I just can’t get out of bed. I believe that my work is a direct reflection of my character, so I want everyone to know me by the work I do. Besides, one of the Bible verses my parents taught me was Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do it as to the Lord Jesus.” If I am working for Him, He knows when I am slacking off!
I also learned about commitment from watching my parents. They have been married for forty-eight years. They made a commitment to God to love each other no matter what, and they have stuck with it. They have had lots of difficulties throughout the years, but they never gave up. Through financial struggles, sickness, family loss, crippling injuries, and even getting older they have managed to stay together and still love each other in spite of the difficulties. Their commitment even stretched to them fulfilling a promise—they never backed out of a promise. No matter how difficult, they always kept their word.
The greatest lesson I learned from my parents is to just be myself. Mom and Dad never tried to act like someone they weren’t. They have always been down-to-earth and were never ashamed of who they were. They never looked down on others because they had less, nor did they envy others who had more. They were always happy for those who were blessed with more and were willing to help those who had less. They taught me that it is okay to be Bob Pittenger.
So today, I want to honor my mom and dad. I am so thankful that in God’s divine plan He allowed me to be the son of Bob and Geri Pittenger! Mom and Dad I love you and want to thank you for everything you have taught me over the years!