My family is a bit disconnected. My mom ran away when she was 16 years old to go live with a family because hers just really wasn’t caring about her. I never really had a strong relationship with my grandparents on either side. My grandfather on my dad’s side died when dad was 16 years old and my grandmother died when I was probably around four or five. So there really wasn’t a big bond that happened between all of us and still to this day it’s not super connected.
But there was one man in my life, papa Joe. Papa Joe was an amazing example to me of a husband and of a man. Papa Joe was my mom’s, we called him her foster father so my foster grandfather. He’s a man who whenever he saw me he would bring me up to him and he’d kind of rub my cheek up against his cheek and it was kind of scruffy looking, kind of like mine is right now, a little scruff going on and give me that dry shave feeling.
To this day I can think back and I can remember that feeling of him and I can smell his aftershave. It was that one old spice in the white bottle. He died really early in my life, he died when I was about nine years old. But to this day, here 34 years later, he’s made a huge impact in my life.
I still talk to papa Joe. I still pray to him sometimes, not to him but through my God to him and I ask for his guidance because he’s the man that I want to be like in my life. I think it’s so important to have examples in your life of what you want especially if you don’t have that in your life.
If you are someone who struggles with good examples, maybe your parents weren’t the greatest examples or maybe your friends aren’t the greatest examples, maybe you are living your life right now and you don’t have some great mentors I think it’s important to find those whether ones that you actually know or ones that you know of.
And papa Joe taught me that you treat your wife like a queen all the time. Now, Hope is still alive, his wife, and I still see them together even when I see her without him. In my mind’s eye, he’s always treating her beautifully. He’s always supporting her, always making her feel like she’s the most important woman in the world.
And so that’s where I live my philosophy with Shannon. When I was a little bit older I was in my high school years, I didn’t have the greatest example of parents who got along that well. I had my mom and my stepdad. My parents, my mum and dad were already divorced. There was a couple in my church, I know they don’t even know they were doing this as my example, they were just doing it because it was natural to them.
But this was the couple that first started me on the track of seeking out what true love looked like in a relationship. Papa Joe showed me what an example of a man was and this was what I got to see when I was really impressionable as a teenager when I saw this couple, the Canons. The Canons would sit next to each other in church. They wouldn’t divide and conquer with the kids between them. They would always sit with either a hand around him or his around hers. They would hold hands in church as they walked down the aisle and they would kiss each other every time they left each other.
That was amazing to me. They were my mentors and they didn’t even know it. Now in business and in life, I have mentors. I have people that I look to, to figure out how I can do what I do the best and how I can serve the most people because I believe that’s my calling, that’s my passion in life and so I seek those people out.
So my message to you today is seek out mentors that can show you how you can get what you want in life. If your marriage isn’t really where you want it to be go find that mentor or mentors that you can hang around and be with, ask questions to. If your business isn’t running the way that you want, go get the mentors. If you are not the greatest parent, look let’s have all transparency here, I’m not the greatest parent to teenagers.
I thought I would be, I thought I would be the most amazing parent and it smacked me in the face when I started having teenage daughters who I don’t know why this is allowed but they get to have their own free agency and their own opinions and they won’t listen to me all the time. So Shannon and I seek out mentors to help us how to be better parents.
If you don’t have a mentor in your life, I implore you find out the areas of your life that you would like to improve on. Whether it be about parenting or being a better person or being a better spouse even spiritually and seek after those people. Follow them, find out how they can help you and therefore you can help someone else because I promise you when you learn that lesson shortly thereafter someone will come to you asking you to teach them.
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