What are you doing to honor or remember your dad on Father’s Day? Showing love and loyalty to the one person you call daddy, dad, pop, or father is a gift to be treasured deep inside his big, loving heart. Sunday is set aside for all the fathers of the world to be spoiled a little and showered with lots of love and affection. Make sure you remember and reach out to your dad wherever he is this Father’s Day.
There are many books written to help fathers succeed and read how experts recommend doing daddy duties. Fathers look for guidance while raising children and reaching roadblocks that threaten treasured relationships. During such stressful seasons, close knit families can be easily torn apart instead of tightly woven in love and understanding.
The best place for fathers to find honest advice on raising children and living a life pleasing to the Lord is in the Bible. God begins His instruction in Genesis 18:19, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” This reminds fathers of the importance in setting a good example for children to follow.
My daddy set a good example with lessons that have helped shape me into the woman I am today. His humble heart and sweet spirit earned my respect at an early age. He never complained and worked hard to keep the family in tune. When he lost both legs to diabetes, I feared bitterness and a ‘woe is me’ attitude would confine him to his old recliner. Daddy wiped away that fear and proved doctors wrong. He walked with two heavy, prosthesis without complaints or looking back and questioning, ‘why me, Lord’? He climbed on his tractor and farmed his garden, worked in the store, and continued living without looking back with regrets. He looked on the sunny side instead of being sad and sorrowful.
A favorite daddy-daughter memory is when baseball games would hit the screen of our black and white television set. Mama would take afternoon duty at our country store; daddy and I would head for the house. I can see him now unstrapping his legs and sitting them beside his recliner, while I made peanut butter and crackers and poured us a glass of cold milk. My daddy and I enjoyed our afternoon delight, watching baseball games together and hearing him tell of days when he played the game he loved dearly. Those times we shared are treasures that no one can take away. Memories made with our daddies…priceless! I give thanks today for an earthly and heavenly Father who love and guide me and live in my heart.
Reading Ephesians 6:4 shows fathers how crucial it is to nurture and discipline children in love while making sure they are on the right track. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ruling with the rod works when the rod is soaked with a father’s love and the Father’s sweet spirit. When children are ruled and regulated by anger and animosity, loving, close relationships are endangered. Take time for your children just as you desire for them to take time for you. Listen to one another; honor and respect the authority of your father as your father will honor and respect his child. Respect and obey your heavenly Father and the order of authority will be honored by your family.
Reading Colossians 3:21 gives confirmation that fathers should strive to teach their children without losing self control and soaking them in discouragement. “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” A child’s greatest teacher is his/her father and/or mother.
While I write about fathers, I watch a group of my children playing at The Learning Station. Their laughter is music to my ears. Two of them will wear white roses on Father’s Day, for their daddies are in heaven. In amazement, I listen as they teach one another through play the way they are taught at home. Children see and hear when we have no idea they are watching and listening to how grownups handle situations. What happens at home does not always stay at home - good or bad, happy or sad – children show and tell. When things are right and good in the sight of the Lord at home, then children will have nothing but good news to share. Surely, our Father longs to see all His children get their houses in order. Cleaning the clutter creates a fresh atmosphere. Pruning old, dead limbs from trees and shrubs in yards enable them to grow more beautifully. God speaks about pruning away the things that hinder and harm. That principle is true for our hearts also. Cleaning any sin, bitterness, unforgiveness, offense, or hurt that keeps you from growing and being a loving child of God is wise. When our hearts and homes are clean and shining for Jesus, good things grow and go wherever He leads.
When Tim and I were raising our sons, a favorite family activity was cleaning the yards on Saturday afternoon. We knew it was work, but disguised the word work by making it fun and doing it together. From the time Cameron could hold up his little head, he rode the riding lawn mower in his daddy’s arms. Clint came along and took that spot, while Cameron followed them with his little push mower. I would pick up sticks or pull weeds from the flowers, while thinking on the lovely things happening before my eyes. The Bible tells us to think on things that are lovely. In my heart, I knew those boys would grow up and our lives would change. Still, I savored each season as we raked leaves and burned them in Mr. Williamson’s field, planted flowers and trimmed shrubs, and made snowmen in our front yard.
The boys knew the end of a hard day’s work meant loading up in daddy’s old Blazer, stopping by the Scotchman for a tootsie roll and cold Mountain Dew, and heading to the local dump site. Once, I watched while Tim allowed Cameron to back up his Blazer to unload the trash. His little red head could barely be seen as he stretched to press the accelerator. Our screams told Cameron it hit the brakes in a hurry. When Tim’s beloved Blazer finally stopped, it was hanging on for dear life. We called it a miracle that Blazer and son were saved from the pit of the huge, dark dumpster. Cameron listened to his father’s voice that foreshadowed danger and demanded him to ‘stop’! That’s the way it is with life. Often, families almost trash what God intends to be keepsakes. We back into situations when sin inches us closer and closer to a pit, unless we apply the brakes, stop, and move forward. God is always guiding and speaking, but we must be connected to the Father in order to hear and understand. He is proud of His children and longs for us to obey and honor Him every day of the year. Father’s Day is the perfect time to renew commitments to loved ones and to the Lord.
May this be a Father’s Day when families realize it is time to put the brakes on sin, separation, unhappiness, sadness, grief, rebellion, old mind sets and move forward in faith, hope, and love. Showing love is God’s greatest commandment; embrace it with passion and those who love you will be pleased. This is a great day for fathers to gather families together for prayer, take authority as the head of your home, and listen to your heavenly Father’s voice leading you to blessings and a beautiful life. Happy Father’s Day!