“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 9 NIV
Happy Father’s Day!!
I have attended many different churches over the years and I have to say I have seen a similar, disappointing trend on Father’s Day. On Mother’s Day, we celebrate our moms and all they have done for us. But on Father’s Day, the sermons tend to be more along the lines of how dads can do better. Dads need to spend more time with their kids and less time at work, they need to play more with their kids and play less golf, they need to love their kids and wives more. This is just a small sampling. I say, enough! Our fathers are to be celebrated and appreciated as much as our mothers!
Fathers are so important in our lives. Let’s be sure to let them know it. The verse above tells us that one of the main impacts a father can have on his children, is to share with them a love for the Lord. When our children were very young, my husband actually suggested that we change the church we attended so that our children could be at a church with a strong, exciting and growing children’s program. So we did. We encouraged attendance and talked about the “kid’s church” lessons and both our children blossomed in their love of the Lord. It was a wonderful time for our whole family.
Fathers and Dads are our role models and heroes. As children, no one is stronger or braver or greater than our dad. We want to be like him. We feel safe with him. “He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.” Proverbs 14:26 NIV A dad loves unconditionally and his strength and confidence protect and comfort his children. In the NKJV version of this verse it says, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence”.
One of my favorite stories about a father in the Bible is “the prodigal son”. The father’s unconditional love and forgiveness and joy at the return of his wayward son are inspiring. And even his kind response to the faithful, hardworking, complaining son is kind and loving. The father explained that this son had always been with him and all the father has is his.
We can look to Abraham as a faithful father who modeled that faith to his family. Let’s also remember Joseph as the faithful, accepting step-father who guided and taught a young Jesus. Noah was an amazingly faithful father. Can you imagine the harassing that his sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth endured as they helped build the ark? And so many other fathers that we know: Jesse the father of David, Kish the father of Saul, David the father of Solomon. Who is your favorite Biblical father? How many of us have read (skimmed over) the lists in the Bible of who was whose father or who “begat” whom? But in that time, who your father was said a lot about who you were and what kind of man you were. The son would be like the father.
But, of course, the greatest father in the Bible is our heavenly Father, God. Many of us, in this life on earth, may have not been blessed with an inspiring earthly father. But even so we can look to God, our Father, and receive His unconditional love and follow His guidance for our lives.
This week let’s make sure we tell our fathers and dads how much we appreciate them. And let’s not forget to appreciate our children’s fathers as well!
I thank God, our Father, for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we celebrate fathers for Father’s Day!