A Big Dad in a Small Town

dennis rainey


Today my friend Dennis Rainey is joining us to share about his father and the profound impact his dad had on his life. With Father’s Day just around the corner, I hope you’ll be encouraged and inspired by the words Dennis shares about the role his father played in his life. Dennis talks more about his dad and the responsibility of fatherhood in his book Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood.


Thanks, Mark, for having me on your blog today. I am thrilled to share this important information on fatherhood, and hope it encourages you to step up to be the kind of dads your sons need.

Be a man of Integrity.

My dad was a quiet man with granite-like integrity. As a boy I don’t recall a single sermon that he ever preached to me, and yet dad taught me life. He was a living message. Authentic. Humble. He didn’t like “braggarts” or “blowhards,” as he called them. He was faithful, honest, loyal, and kind. A man who took his responsibilities seriously. And I can count the curse words that ever came from his lips on one hand.

Be Involved.

Dad coached our Little League baseball team, the Ozark Tigers, for three seasons. Dad never gave up on us. He taught us the basics, and slowly he turned me into a pitcher and a bunch of country boys into a competitive team. I have a team photo that hangs in my office to record what we accomplished. As I sit and stare at the team photo, it doesn’t matter that we lost. What matters is that my dad was in the picture…not just for three seasons, but for my life.

Be Intentional.

A bundle of memories of time with Dad now bring a smile to my face. Dad taught me how to throw a curve, a slider, and a knuckleball. Hunting deer and quail and fishing for white bass. His sixth-grade boys Sunday school class. Old Spice aftershave and lava hand soap. And falling asleep together with his arm around me on a Saturday afternoon as we watched the “Game of the Week” on television. I can still feel the hair from his arm against my boyish cheek, and I can almost smell the propane on his hands from that morning’s delivery.

He gave me a lot of gifts, but the best gift Hook Rainey ever gave me was that he never stopped believing in me. Much of what I am today is because I had a father who stepped up as a man and stepped into my life as a boy. He was more than somebody’s dad. He was my dad.


I hope you are encouraged by these words as much as I am. I want to be this kind of dad to my kids, don’t you? What choices will you make today to begin that process?

For more helpful ideas, visit our website for dads and sign up for the Play of the Day email.


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