An open letter to fathers (from one father to many): Dear Fathers, I was wondering if you have any idea what an impact you have on the lives of your children? Their eyes are on you all the time. They watch as you talk to your wife and to your parents. They watch as you work and play and worship. They listen to your opinions and beliefs. Whether you realize it or not, your sons and daughters are taking it all in. They are saying to themselves – even if subconsciously, “So, that is how a father/husband/man is supposed to be.”
Years ago, when my own kids were little, I taught a class on parenting. One of the chief lessons of that study has stayed with me over the years. The lesson was that new parenting techniques and philosophies are rarely the answer to raising healthier, happier children. The best way to achieve those results is by becoming healthier and happier ourselves.
In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with Abraham. He promised Abraham that if Abraham would be faithful, God would bless him and all the generations that would follow. I believe that principle is still at work today. The power of God at work in the life of one man is enough to change a family and thereby change the world.
So, fathers, recognize how important you are! You don’t have to be rich or powerful or all-knowing in order to be a blessing to your children. The things that count are most often the most simple. It’s like the story of the father who went to visit his son’s preschool. It was a day when dads were invited to come and be introduced by their kids. When he got there, however, he was shocked to discover only a handful of fathers had shown up. Later, all the children were sitting on the floor in a circle. The teacher asked the children to tell the group something special about their fathers. One little boy said, “May father is very smart. He teaches at the college.” A little girl said, “Well, my daddy is a doctor and he takes care of lots and lots of people.” Finally, it was time for the boy to same something special about his dad. The boy looked up at his father, looked around the circle, smiled and proudly said, “My dad… my dad is here!”
On this Father’s day, remember your children (and grandchildren!) are paying attention – not nearly so much to what you say as to what you do. Therefore, bring your family to worship that together we might remember the God who blesses and redeems us all. And have a Happy Father’s day – you deserve it!