My Father's Son


My Father’s Son (I meant to post this several weeks ago with the accompanying video, but here it is now!)

I am selfish and conceited/My ego weighs a ton/I am vain and overbearing

    I am my father's son

I'm impatient and impulsive/I can't control my tongue/I am often very thoughtless

    I am my father's son

I am given to excesses/I do things overdone/I am easily addicted

    I am my father's son

But I don't blame him for what I am/I take responsibility 'cause I'm a man

I just can't help but see it's true/How your father's sins are passed on down to you

But he gave me a love for music/He wrote a song or two/He is a man of inspiration

    Dad, I owe this song to you

And in my darkest hour/Though he was in the darkness too/He pointed me to Jesus

    Dad, I owe my life to you

I am confident and loyal/And I don't turn and run/I am able to love deeply

    I am my father's son

It may seem a little funny, but I wrote My Father’s Son as a Father’s Day present for my dad a few years ago (for those who are curious, he tells me that this song is one of his favorites, though he does like to joke about how humbling it is!). I had recently been having these experiences where I was seeing so much of my dad in myself, in my mannerisms, in the way I would say certain things. It was really strong, and sometimes kind of strange and unpleasant. You always want to think that you’re your own person, but our parents play a big part in shaping who we are.

I have seen a lot of my dad’s sins and faults being relived in my life, and I talk about that in the song, but in spite of his weaknesses, my dad has passed on a lot of good things to me. That’s what the song is about, no matter how bad it may have been at home, and for me there were some pretty terrible times when my dad was in the throes of addiction and simply out of his mind, but no matter how much bad they pass on, there’s always some good as well. In fact, one of the turning points in my life came when my dad and I were both in the midst of addiction. It was September 11, 2001, and we just watched the news all day, and all he could talk about was the end of the world and the return of Jesus. “This is it! It’s really going to happen fast now.” He gave me a book that day called The Great Controversy, about the history of the Christian church and the future predicted in Bible prophecy, and it changed my life. I was already thinking about God, but this book introduced me to Him in a really profound and life altering way. From that point I knew that I wanted to be a preacher, I wanted to prepare people for Jesus’ coming. So even while my dad was living this destructive life, he pointed me in the right direction. And I’m happy to say that he eventually found his way back as well.

I also mention in the song that my dad is a song writer, so I get that from him too. He actually wrote and recorded 8 or 9 albums while I was growing up, so I was around it all the time. He is a very creative guy, and has a knack for expressing himself in memorable ways. I like to think that I got some of that from him as well.

What I’m trying to say through this song is that our parents pass so many things down to us, both good and bad, but it’s up to us to decide the kind of people we are going to be. We can either take responsibility for our faults and work towards maximizing the good things they’ve given us or blame our failures on our folks and wallow in self pity. I have tried (and am trying) to take the better path.

“For you must realize all the time that you have been ‘ransomed’ from the futile way of living passed on to you by your fathers’ traditions, not with some money payment of transient value, but by the costly shedding of blood. The price was in fact the lifeblood of Christ, the unblemished and unstained lamb of sacrifice.” 1 Peter 1:18,19 (The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips)