I’m Not a Perfect Father

Argote Family. L-R: Sonny (father), Evelyn (mother), Japheth, Mark.
Argote Family. L-R: Sonny (father), Evelyn (mother), Japheth, Mark.

It began with my father…

I’m not a perfect father. I did not even know how to be a father. That’s what I realized when I became one. I guess every father goes through the same beginning. My earliest memories and experience about fatherhood was when I was a son, among 4 other sons to my now departed father. I remember the consequences when I or my brothers committed foolish acts or behaved in an unapproved manner or even talked without respect or permission. Surely, my own father understood the wisdom of NOT sparing the rod of discipline.

There were some fantastic memories, however, when my father coached me while working with him on anything he could lay his hands on. I was taught the value of hard, patient work, and to be proud of the results. He loved carpentry, fixing machines, building machines, making useful things at home like furniture and other implements. To this day, I vividly remember him and me working together.

Because of his interests and curiosity, I was naturally led to follow his footsteps and found myself fulfilling his own personal ambition to venture into the engineering field. He goaded me to become an engineer because he, himself, did not have the means to become one. My father, who recently passed away, was a great Pa for me and for my siblings. But there were times when I realized that he had imperfections and flaws. Nevertheless, he tried his best to be a good father.

My Turn

And so, when I became a father, my only guide was my own experience with my father. God has blessed me with two sons, Mark, who is now 35, and Japheth who is now 27. I wanted to be a better dad than my Pa. I wanted to be an excellent father.

I wanted to be a better dad than my Pa. I wanted to be an excellent father.

Dad and sons at the Golden Gate
Family fun dinner

Mark was expectedly mischievous when he was young. He could attest to the rod of discipline he went through but there were times that I now realize how I wrongly meted out punishment without even giving good counsel. I was too consumed in raising well-disciplined sons who followed each command and order from me in order to perform excellently in all aspects of the school, home, and life. I wanted to control everything including what was going on through their brains.

I wanted to control everything including what was going on through their brains.

To make matters worse, I was not even a good example. I had no relationship with God and had no spiritual life at all. I was not even a good husband. I ran around with drinking buddies and spent time with them. My sons saw these in me, but I never realized how bad a father I was turning to be…

God’s Turn

By the grace of God, I became a believer in the Lord while Mark was around 6 years old. God used a Christian school to make inroads into my heart and my life. Later, as I spiritually grew, the Bible became my guide in raising him up. I came to know the wisdom behind Proverbs 22:6, which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.“ That started me on the right path as a father. I realized the importance of training and as a father, I felt the urge to train him to become a father someday.

Thank God that I learned to be consistent with the principles and rules that were laid out at home. I also gradually shed off the old habits, like drinking and going out with friends. The changes in me were enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit. I still disciplined my sons but in the Christian way.

My Kids

One day, my son violated an important rule in school, and I had no choice but to implement the penalty. When he arrived home from school, I ordered him to go up to his room while I prayed to calm myself down. I read the scriptures and prayed for wisdom. After an hour, I entered his room and asked what violation he committed. He confessed his fault after some time. I, then, asked him whether he understood the Biblical principle of sin and penalty, of transgression and punishment. I had to explain and reinforce most of the principles. I, then, asked him if he deserved punishment. He readily agreed. I used the rod, even asked him if he would prefer 1, 2, or 3 strikes on the bare behind. Of course, the intensity of the strike was inversely proportional to the number of strikes. My son chose 2 strikes so I imparted it with no feeling of anger but of righteous discipline. We both found ourselves in tears and kneeled together to thank God for his goodness. What a relief and joy!? That scene is forever ingrained in our memories. Oh, yes, there were countless sessions like these at home…

Dad and Japhet in the Middle East
Mark and Japheth

There were also moments of distress and weakness. My younger son Japheth was especially vulnerable to sickness and weakness. God taught me to be a loving and caring father, to just devote my time at home with them. When Japheth was sick, he would always want to just sleep with his head on my chest and his entire body on me. I was rendered immobile for fear of disturbing him. Oh, yes, I prayed and cried and prayed some more and cried again to God for healing and recovery for my son.

Dad and Mark at Silliman University
Mark wins silver medal in swimming competition

I wanted my sons to excel in all things. I passionately supported Mark as he trained in competitive swimming. We traveled and prayed together during swim meets and competitions. We savored and thanked God for moments of victory. We were both humbled and ran back to God in times of defeat.

Training Other Kids

In his school, I was even given the wonderful opportunity to lead devotional sessions at least once a week during their chapel hour. One of the most memorable times for me was when I was tasked by the school as a volunteer parent to train two young lads in Expressive Reading and Extemporaneous Speech. They were to take part in the National Convention competition. I was a driven Dad at that time. Both won medals afterward. They were not the best, but they just did their best.

The Present

God also led me to be a new kind of husband. I learned that a good godly father must be a good husband. My sons surely saw in me the undying love and devotion to my wife, their Mom. Later, when Mark moved to adulthood and wanted to propose to his girlfriend, he confided to my wife and me. We were elated and excited. We prayed about it and thanked God for all his goodness. I was confident that God would also make my son a good father because he knew that though I was not perfect, we have a perfect Father in heaven whom we can always rely on.

I learned that a good godly father must be a good husband.

I’m a proud grandfather to two beautiful kids, Zev and Zoe. Our family meets on cyberspace every night and I am content in the thought that my son is on the right path to be a good father, too. He is NOT perfect just like me. But he relies on the Perfect Father…

Sonny was born as the 2nd of ten children in Ligao, Albay on July 27, 1962. He spent his childhood days in Bicol and teenage years in Manila while working through high school. He was able to proceed to college on a State Scholarship and completed Electrical Engineering at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). He was placed 3rd in the 1996 Professional Electrical Engineer’s national examinations.

Sonny joined the UST Faculty of Engineering in 1984. A year later, he joined the National Steel Corporation as a Systems Engineer. In 2000, he ventured to the Middle East and joined National Oilwell Varco where he is employed at present. He is currently based in Singapore. Sonny is happily married to Evelyn and they have two sons, Mark and Japheth. They also have two grandchildren, Zev and Zoe.


  1. June 17, 2020

    So blessed of your testimony Bro Sonny.God bless you more as you and your family serve faithfully our Lord Jesus.

    • Sonny Argote
      June 17, 2020

      All for Gods Glory…thanks for feedback

  2. June 17, 2020

    Sana video din Manoy Sonny. I’m eating and just want to watch I have eyestrain so need to rest eyes a bit

    • Sonny
      June 17, 2020

      Next time Nes…

  3. Willy Ferrer
    June 18, 2020

    Every father in this world is not perfect. Only God is perfect. As we struggle to be a good father to our children, our good intention is to give them the best in life. Your life testimony as a father is really something to ponder on.

  4. Aldine Amparo
    June 20, 2020

    God worked amazingly in your life. We give praise to God when we think of you, Tito Sonny and Tita Evelyn. We want to have a servant hearts like yours.


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