I know that title sounds pitiful. I also know that 6 little people are going to say “Happy Father’s Day Daddy” to me in the morning. That little ritual never gets old and I am confident it never will.
This year I’m really pondering this Dad thing. I’m reading a great and challenging book (which I will review later) and have been re-evaluating with my wife where we are with our children. My oldest daughter, Briley, will be 13 soon while the next two, Caleb and Isaiah, will be 11 and 9. These are the pivotable years. They are right now forming views that will define who they are and who they will be through life. The other three, Audrey, Macey, and Elisha, are still in that more innocent and simple time, but those older three are thinking some pretty grown-up thoughts.
So, I said, it’s tough being a Dad. Why does the Lord address so many things to we fathers? Why does he single us out to not “provoke” them? That’s spooky. We are given a unique authority in our home, not because we deserve it, but because the Lord chose it. At first glance that sounded like a lot of fun, but once you read the fine print of what we are to do with that authority that gets a little hairy too. Since the Lord gave us a role that reflects His role as Father, we are the key to our children’s viewpoint of God. That means my children’s view of God is shaped by me more than anyone else on Earth! Of course the grace of God is sufficient for those with no father or a bad one, but still here I am and this the Lord expects of me. That is somewhere between sobering and terrifying. On reflection, it’s a little closer to terrifying!
To make it worse, our culture misplaced the blueprint God gave us. No one even knows what a man is good for anymore. The feminist movement has been far more effective in its indoctrination than people realize. It’s not that men and women are equal (because before the Lord of course they are), but that men are unneeded, incompetent, and perhaps, pointless. Add our culture’s disdain for a man doing what he ought to do with the Lord’s high expectations, and WOW, it’s a mess! The Lord convicts me on one hand and the world tells me I’m not even needed on the other. I told you it’s tough being a Dad.
I know what you’re thinking, and you are right. Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”) is as good for Dads as any other Christian. Tough or not, it must be done even if I’m riding Christ’s strength all the way. Men don’t like to admit their lack of strength, but it’s more true than you will ever know.
So I must spend time with my children. That’s as far as most fathering advise goes these days, but it’s true. My Dad, Gerald Reagan, invested so much time in me that to this day he is both my Dad and one of my dearest friends on Earth.
Then, I must mold, teach, and train. I must prepare them for life with its brutal twists. I must convince them that Christ is the Rock in all things. Most of all, I must love. Love will always cover a multitude of sins!
As I said, my children will say happy Father’s Day to me no matter what tomorrow. If it had to have Christ’s approval before it could be said of me, would I get His vote of confidence? Lord, help me to be what you ask me to be and what I want to be. Even if it’s tough.
Happy Father’s Day!