A Blessing on Father’s Day 2016.
Dads come in all shapes and sizes, all different shades of skin—my dad had dark red hair and a freckle-faced complexion. His nickname was “Red” and boy, he hated those freckles til the end! You know, I was thinking this morning—I bet every kid alive can name at least one thing he got from his father, even if the first thought was of his dad’s shortcomings. I got my love of words from my dad. Though he did not even get his high school diploma until he was 48 years old and in night school, he loved reading and expanding his vocabulary. He took great pride in physical fitness; ha, Jack LaLanne was from our area… now that dates me. How about you—can you think of some things that your dad passed on to you?
The first human being God ever created also became the first father . . . I find that really interesting. Right out of the gate, Adam had two very different, headstrong young men, Cain and Abel, difficult to parent for sure. And that first family did not have our culture with which to contend, or the pressures of our world today.
God puts a high priority on parenthood, including honoring of one’s parents as number five of the Ten Commandments.1 Indeed, “Honor thy father and mother” is commanded in 10 different places in Scripture, and it is the only command that comes with a promise. If you honor your father and mother, things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.2
And the crazy thing about that command is that it has no statute of limitations. It does not say to honor our parents until we are 18 or 21 or have a family of our own . . . simply, ‘honor your father and mother’. It does not add a caveat like, ‘honor your father and mother if they are good, kind and loving’. Honor. Hmmm. I vote to bring back honor to our culture!
Dear dads: so many thankless deeds, selfless tasks and tiresome duties oft unseen by others—things like rocking a hurting baby at night, putting together bicycles, coaching ball teams, working on math problems he can hardly remember how to do himself, hollering from the sidelines of countless sporting contests, and on it goes.
God sees, and he values your love for your children, Dad.
Eventually, many children see, appreciate, and grow from the sacrifices of their fathers.
You may have thought I didn't see,
Or that I hadn't heard,
Life lessons that you taught to me,
But I got every word.
Perhaps you thought I missed it all,
And that we'd grow apart,
But Dad, I picked up everything,
It's written on my heart.
Without you, Dad, I wouldn't be
The woman I am today;
You built a strong foundation
No one can take away.
I've grown up with your values,
And I'm very glad I did;
So here's to you, dear father,
From your forever grateful kid. Joanna Fuchs
Sweet, huh? Our children see far more than we realize. If they see us practicing gratitude, one day they will express gratitude for who we have been and what we have done for them. One day.
May I offer two instructions from Scripture on this Fathers’ Day, Dads? First, don’t forget to share your spiritual journey with your children, as a father’s testimony is powerful. "Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their childrento the next generation.”3 Tell them the difference it makes to have God in your life when you’re scared, tired, unsure, and wanting the wisdom to live life. Second, Paul said: "Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord."4 Sometimes it is difficult to offer correction, or institute a consequence without belaboring the point or driving it home one time too many.
A prayer: Dear Lord, I pray that you will bless fathers around our globe today. Bless and fill their hearts with love from you, their true Father, no matter how wonderful (or lacking) their own fathers were or have been. God, I pray that you will equip them with your wisdom which is pure, peace-loving, gentle, and full of mercy—shows no favoritism and is always sincere.5 May your favor rest upon them, confirm and establish the work of their hands,6 Lord God. Amen.
God Bless You, Dads!
1 – Exodus 20.12
2 – Ephesians 6.2-3
3 – Joel 1.3
4 – Ephesians 6.4, Amplified
5 – James 3.17
6 – Psalm 90.17
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