Last Sunday, June 18, was Father's Day. If you don't mind, I would like to share a few thoughts with you about fathers and Father's Day.
I have many fond memories of my father as I am sure we all do. If your father is still living, you have the opportunity to create some fond experiences of your own. And if you are a father, you have a chance to work at becoming an even better father to the children the Lord has given you.
My father wasn't perfect by any means - no father is in our imperfect and sinful world. But heaven knows he tried. He spent time with us four kids. He took time to teach us how to catch and throw a baseball and kick a football and ride a bike. They didn't have training wheels back then and we lived out in the country with a gravel driveway and no sidewalk.
Most importantly he taught us the importance of going to church. Our whole family attended early service every Sunday and home devotions when there was time.
I regret not spending more time with our daughters. It was a responsibility I passed on to my wife. Thank God she did an excellent job parenting our daughters. Too often I used the excuse I was busy doing the Lord's work. As fathers we have to realize that being involved and offering leadership in our family life is also the Lord's work.
Dr. James Dobson in his, "Straight Talk to Men About Their Families," stresses the important role that the man plays in trying to make the traditional family unit work. He points out that no modern society can exceed the stability of its own family units. If the bricks crumble, the wall falls down. The family unit is the building block of our society. When our families go to pot, so will our nation. Right now America leads the developed countries of the world percentage wise in broken and dysfunctional homes. We have largely lost sight of what a good father is and what a loving husband does.
Larry Christenson in his book, "The Christian Family," tells of an incident in his own family when he was a teenager. He had just argued with his mother. As she left the room he shouted after her, "You're a big dummy." Young Larry had failed to see his father come into the room a few moments earlier. Suddenly his father's arm shot out, caught him by the front of his shirt, and lifted him right off the floor. "Who's a dummy?" demanded his father. Scarred stiff young Larry blubbered, "I'm a dummy. I'm a dummy." Years later it all proved to be a source of family humor. But at the moment it was a tremendously important life lesson.
Fathers, don't miss the golden opportunities God is giving you to bring your family to a better knowledge and stronger faith in Jesus Christ. "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)