Happy Fathers’ Day! How many times have we heard that this week? For most dads, plenty. I have a burning question about this ‘special day”. Why do we celebrate it? How many men really want to be recognized for just being a ‘father’? Probably 99% of the men in the world can easily be a ‘father’ in a few minutes time. What is there to celebrate about this simple act of procreation? Not much to brag about , right? So why do we celebrate it?
Being a ‘father’ is easy, being a ‘DAD’ isn’t.” What’s the difference”, you ask? A BIG difference! Anybody can father a child, a real man, a dad, raises his children, loves his children unconditionally, trains his children, and helps the get to know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. A father makes the child, a dad makes the child into a real man. Now THAT is something to celebrate! Let’s celebrate the DADs of the world. Now don’t get me wrong, many times the father and the dad are one in the same. But, in this ever changing world, sadly this percentage in dwindling.
Wait there is more. The moms of this world are so overburdened with raising the children because men are not being ‘dads’. Ok, Bob, now what are you talking about? Way too many dads have fallen asleep at the wheel of steering their families in the right direction. I know, I was one of them. I failed miserably! “Yeah, Bob, but that is you, I know better”, you say. Really? How much quality time do you spend with your children per day? Five minutes? Ten minutes? I’m talking about quality time, not “hey son, how is your salad?” Think about it. A few years back a survey was done and it was discovered that the average dad spent 5 minutes of quality time, a day, with his son. I know this doesn’t apply to anyone in my home church (ahem!), but the statistic is incredible! Who is raising your children the other 23 hours and 55 minutes a day? The television? The internet? Social media? Their friends? The school system? Think about it! How can we, as dads, possibly teach our children how we ( God and their parents) want our kids to live, how to treat each other, how to respect women, how to help those in need, etc? The school teaches mostly academics, the church can teach how to treat others and guide us to salvation. The internet teaches ?????
Stay with me a bit more. Let’s say your child is caught stealing for example. Or, you find out your son us abusive to women. Or you catch one of your kids surfing adult sites on the internet. For the most part we, as dads who aren’t engaged with our children have no right to yell at our kids saying ” Who taught you to steal? Or what makes you think it is ok to abuse women? Or, why are you surfing those sites? The real question needs to be ” Why didn’t I teach them different? Why don’t they have the necessary training from ME, to be able to know right from wrong? We need to stop blaming the ‘system’, or the peer pressure, or the internet , or the schools. It’s OUR responsibility! It’s time we man-up and realize that being a dad is a serious job, with tons of responsibility. If we are the dads God wants us to be, we can change the world. We can greatly reduce the number of men in jail. It is a fact that about 90% of the men in jail didn’t have a ‘father figure ‘in the home! That fact speaks volumes in showing the responsibility we have as dads!
I realize it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that ” Oh, I have 18 years to train up my child in the way they should go( from Ephesians). But time has a way of slipping away on us. We need to be the example of how to live a Christ-like life every day. We need to model how to love our neighbors, our wives, our families day in and day out. We CANNOT take this lightly! We cannot use the excuse that we need to work 7 days a week to pay the bills. ” I want my kids to have all the ‘things’ I didn’t have as a child, that’s why I work the extra hours. Most times this is a ‘cop-out’. When we dads are old and gray, and our kids are raised, they will NOT come to us thanking us for the I-pad we bought them to keep them occupied. They won’t remember the cool $100.00 pair of sneakers you bought them. They will remember the TIME you spent with them just being silly, or the TIME you went on a hike with them and got lost. They will remember their dad being a dad by reading them bible stories when they were little. TIME>>>TIME! That is what they will remember you by. They will love you because of the TIME you spent one on one with them. Keep in mind the old Beatles song, “Money can’t buy me love”. TIME with our children will be returned many times over in the love we receive from them.
Remember the priority list: God first, wife second, children, then your work. This order will surely bring blessings. Remember that saying “God first” is easy, living God first, is tough. It is the only way to have peace in our lives, the only way to be blessed to be a blessing to others.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life…be a real dad today and always. Read your bibles to see what God says about being a good dad.
Yes, I am very passionate about this topic. I, along with most dads, have failed in being the dad God wants us to be. But, I have great news for you!!!! God is a God of second chances ( and third, and fourth, etc). This is super good news for me, as now, by the grace of God ,I have many more opportunities to be a dad by helping raise up the many fatherless children in the Comarca. This is a job that I take seriously. Thank you ,God, for that. Now, you are thinking “Bob, we don’t have a Comarca in our neighborhood”. No, but I’ll bet there are fatherless children only a short distance from where you live.
I’ll calm down and let you all sleep on these words for a while. But hear this, you haven’t heard the last from me on this. I would love to hear your feedback on this.
For the real dads of the world, Happy Dad’s Day. For the fathers that haven’t been good dads, now is the time to make a difference…no excuses, just do it!