The Measure of a Man

jack-benny-398283 1280Joan Benny remembered Sunday mornings as being her “special time” with her father, the late comedian, Jack Benny:

“Daddy would wake me up for breakfast about 7:30. Then we’d head outside to go for a drive.

Daddy would get into the car and turn the ignition key. Inevitably, nothing would happen. He would push and pull every button on the dashboard, twist all the knobs and pump the accelerator, but the motor still wouldn’t start.

At length, he would sigh and say to me, ‘Honey, the car just won’t start until you give me a kiss.’

So I did, and it did – and off we went.

For a long time, I believed there was some kind of scientific connection between kissing and car-starting.”1

Psalm 128:3, 4 states, “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.”

The implication here is that the father is the root, and the sons are the fresh new shoots. What was a shoot in one generation becomes the root in the next.2

Martin Buxbaum said to men,

“You can use almost any measure when you’re speaking of success.

You can measure it in a fancy home, expensive car, or dress. But the measure of your real success is one you cannot spend.

It’s the way your son describes you when he’s talking to a friend.”3

One hundred young people were asked the following question:

“What person in your life has exercised the greatest influence in determining your behavior and beliefs? The influence can be either good or bad, and the person may or may not be a part of your immediate family.”

The quick response of the majority was “my father.”4 

“The measure of a man is his family.”


1.Jack Benny and Joan Benny, Sunday Night at Seven (Warner), Readers Digest, “A Kiss To Start,” April, 1991.
2.Lou Engle with Catherine Paine, Digging The Wells of Revival, Revival Press, An Imprint of Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 310, Shippensburg, PA. 17257-0310, Copyright 1998, p. 169.
4.“The Father’s Role Today,” by Truman Dollar and Grace Ketterman, “The Alliance Witness,” Volume 119, #8, April 11, 1984.

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