Dads are always so me thing of an unfinished product, always under construction, always pending, so to speak. And who helps in this ongoing formation of dad?
After spending the entire dinner correcting his young son’s table manners, the husband turned to his wife and said in exasperation, “Will the training never end?” “A boy’s training never ends,” his wife said, “He just marries and his wife gets the job. And please stop talking with food in your mouth.”
For nine months, when the mothers carried the children in their womb, they got to know those kids pretty well. Those mothers could feel the baby turn and kick. They had morning sickness, or sleepless nights. When the child was born, after nine months she welcomed that little baby as a friend.
Am I right, ladies? It’s almost like you already knew the child.
But, you, husbands, standing back there still shocked by what you have just witnessed, now look at that baby almost like a dream.
Suddenly you feel that you are a father!
You are a new dad!
You have to make a decision, “I am going to be the dad!”
Stephen Covey says that every day all across America, fathers drive home from work. Some make the decision and some don’t.
He says the wisest way to use your drive time home from work is to once again adopt your children. Be a dad. Mentally go through the process of taking off the work hat and putting on the father hat.
Mentally go through the process for whatever it means in your life of resigning from work and volunteering to be a father.
In Ramsey County, Minnesota, ninth and tenth graders were interviewed recently about their dads.
They were asked this question: "What comes to mind when you think of the word ‘dad’?"
Answers came immediately from both ends of the spectrum.
One end of the spectrum said, "I think of the word jerk."
Others thought of the words angry, mad, and absent.
On the other hand, some of the young people said, "I think of wholeness, kindness, security, safety."
Dad is an immensely powerful word.
-- Roger Thompson, "Becoming a Man," Preaching Today, Tape No. 140.
At baptism, the Church asks parents to make decision to take the responsibility to be Christian Parents.
St. Paul reminds those of you who are dads:
“Father, do not anger your children.
Bring them up with the training and instruction befitting the Lord.” (Eph 6:4).
When was the last time that you fathers gathered your family to pray?
When was the last time that you taught your children to pray?
Jesus reminds all of us today,
“If you acknowledge me before others, I will acknowlege you before my Father.
If you disown me before others, I will disown you before my Father!”
A study once disclosed that if both Mom and Dad attend church regularly,
72 percent of their children remain faithful in attendance.
If only Dad attends regularly, 55 percent remain faithful.
If only Mom attends regularly, 15 percent remain faithful.
If neither attend regularly, only 6 percent remain faithful.
-- Warren Mueller, Leadership, Vol. 2, no. 3.
Another study of Christian and non-Christian families reports that
in American culture today most young adults following Jesus Christ
either come from non-Christian homes where they were converted to Christ in their teenage years through a dynamic youth ministry, or they come from homes where they grew up in love with Jesus because mom and dad were so in love with Jesus that love permeated their lives. It passed through their pores. Very few believers come from homes where there was a kind of indifferent, apathetic commitment to Christ. It is sobering and thought provoking to suggest that, in American culture, the chances are better for a child growing up in a non-Christian home to become a Christian than for a child growing up in a home that has an indifferent, apathetic commitment to Jesus Christ.
-- Ron Lee Davis, "Introducing Christ to Your Child, " Preaching Today, Tape No. 92.
On the 10th anniversary of the death of his father, Max Lucado said, "I gave myself these few moments to stop and think, what in terms of character did I catch from my dad, because he was not a man of many words? He was a west Texas oil field mechanic. What did I catch? What character would that teach me about my dad? One of the earliest memories I have of my father was when I was old enough to read and old enough to get bored in church. I was sitting holding his pocket book that had a check stub in it and a check ledger. And I must have been old enough to read and remember, Because what I remember is that there were entered a series of checks written to the Andrews Church of Christ. Not just one, but all the way down. One page down the next, down the next. Only later would I learn his practice of sitting down the first day of every year and writing 52 contributions. The money wasn't there and he wouldn't give all those checks at once. He waited until the dates came by. He postdated them. But he put those checks in a drawer so that on Sunday morning, he wouldn't forget and he wouldn't be tempted not to give. He didn't make a lot of money and I don't know what the amount was. But do you think I caught something? He never sat down and gave me a lecture on being a steward, but he gave me a lesson.
Can you remember a few things about your own dads?
I hope maybe you can.
It begs a good question for those of you who are dads.
A scary one, but an important one for you, and that is,
"What are your kids catching from you. . . as they see you?
As they watch you?
As they listen to you?"
A little boy of five was left alone with his father at bedtime.
It had never happened before.
After some maneuvering and a lot of fun,
the father finally got the little fellow into his night clothes,
and was about to lift him into bed when the child said,
"But Daddy, I have to say my prayer.
He knelt down beside his bed, joined his hands, raised his eyes to heaven, and prayed:
"Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
if I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. "
That was his usual prayer.
But tonight he looked up at his dad,
then raised his eyes to heaven, and prayed,
"Dear God, make me a great, big, good man like my daddy. Amen. "
In a moment he was in bed, and in five minutes asleep.
And then the father knelt by his son's bedside and prayed,
"Dear Lord, make me a great, big, good man like my boy thinks I am. "
Dads, teach your children to acknowledge God in this life;
and Jesus will acknowledge you before his Father in heaven!