Abba Father

This week I attended a memorial service for a young man who died too soon. He had once been a six-year-old  in the Bible club where I was a leader. I remembered him as ambitious, who always tried to have his Bible verses ready to recite each week. Now thirteen years later, he was gone. I mourned his passing. What a tragic waste of a promising future.

I watched his parents leave the auditorium, agony on their faces, devastation in their eyes. With their son’s death so close to Father’s Day, the celebratory holiday would become an annual reminder of what they’d lost. Their grief would not soon pass. I ached for their pain.

This Sunday we will honor our fathers, the family leader that God often favors in His word. In Deuteronomy 6:1, Moses gathered all of Israel together and taught them the standards God wanted them to know. He admonished the fathers to teach the precepts to their sons and grandsons, preserving God’s law among the future generations.

“That you might fear the Lord, your God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments .  .  .you, your son, and your son’s son.”  With the admonition comes a promise that we may live long in the land God gives us.

In Ephesians 6:4, fathers are told to bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Anyone who has parented a child knows this is not an easy task.

In this often confused and crazy world, our children are daily subjected to outside influences  that may or may not be good for them.  Staying abreast of everything to which they are exposed requires constant vigil. Correcting misguided ideas takes a strong fatherly figure.  No wonder God gave that responsibility to men.

If your father is still living, honor him this week. For better or for worse, he has paved the way for you, leading you on the narrow path he hopes will keep you safe. Life’s pitfalls turned his hair gray, gave him worry lines across his forehead. But he earned those wounds loving you. Thank him.

Celebrating Dads

Our dad’s favorite pie

This weekend, stores will do landmark sales in ties and aftershave, marking yet another Father’s Day. Children will color pictures to adorn the home refrigerator and wives will find cards to give their spouses, thanking the men in their lives for the roles they play in the family hierarchy.

 My husband will celebrate with a lemon meringue pie—his favorite—and gifts from his kids.

Fathers are important in God’s scheme of things. Billy Graham is quoted as saying “a good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” As the roles of men and women in our culture blur, becoming less and less defined, many men find it difficult to figure where they fit in God’s plan. But the Bible teaches their importance cannot be overlooked.

It has been said that the way a person views God is often based on the image they have of their earthly father. A person who sees God as a tyrant, ruling the world with an iron fist, may have grown up under the thumb of an unforgiving dad. The individual who sees God as all loving, all knowing, and all forgiving learned that lesson sitting at his or her earthly father’s knee. Ephesians 6:4 tells us, “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

Studies show that young girls will one day marry a man much like their father. The father’s imprint on the child could well determine the type of man with whom she will share her life and the quality of life she will live.

As part of the ten commandments in Exodus 20:12 (NKJV) God’s word teaches us to “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

This Sunday, thank your father if he still lives. Ladies, praise the father of your children, and dads, be the father your children need, passing on the legacy God intended for you.

Happy Father’s Day.