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How Do You Spell L-O-V-E?August 15, 2022
A father and his son were quietly sitting on a beach and were counting the waves. Suddenly, the child pointed towards a dead bird and asked what happened to it? His father replied that, it just passed away and went to heaven. The little boy thought for a moment and asked, “Then why did God throw it back?”
Johnny’s father asks to see his son’s report card. Johnny says nonchalantly, “I don’t have it.” His father inquires why not? He responds, “My friend borrowed it. He wants to scare his parents.”
A dad describes the feeling a father has when his daughter became engaged this way, “This is the third of four daughters. Every time it happens, I’m overwhelmed by the feeling that I am giving a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.”
Here are some things a husband never says to his wife. “Hey Honey, I think I heard someone downstairs. Will you go check it out?” “The box of stuff you are looking for is in the crawl space under the house, but there aren’t as many spiders as there used to be. You won’t have any trouble finding it.” “I saw a raccoon the size of a small bear throwing our garbage around. Do you mind running him off?”
Today, I am writing specifically to Dads. If you are not a dad then I invite you to read from a distance and see if any of the insights help you to be a better mom, grandparent, extended family member or friend. It is not easy being a dad. Some of the typical “Dad” jobs are easier. Protecting those they love is one a lot of dads take very seriously. Telling “Dad Jokes” is fun. Most dads like their work, sometimes too much, so providing for the family is high on their list. But the parts that involve emotional and spiritual commitment often seem the hardest.
The scriptures have much good guidance for being an effective father. For example, Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Dads have a responsibility from God to raise their children up to believe in Him. This starts with a father’s own faith. The family will watch what a father does and see if it matches what he says.
Let’s say you are a dad who has taken this seriously, and work hard on growing in your faith and getting the family to practice their faith through worship, prayers, and service. What next? I read about one man who said, “The greatest gift I ever received was a gift I got one Christmas when my dad gave me a small box. Inside was a note saying, ‘Son, this year I will give you 365 hours, an hour every day after dinner. It’s yours. We’ll talk about what you want to talk about, we’ll go where you want to go, play what you want to play. It will be your hour!’ My dad not only kept his promise, every year he renewed it, and it’s the greatest gift I ever had in my life. I am the result of his time.”
The most important gift a dad can give to his wife and children is his time. I love this quote, “Great Dads spell love, ‘T-I-M-E.’”
Gary Smalley, popular author and psychologist, asked 100 people, “What is one specific way you knew that you had received your fathers’ blessing?” Here some of those answers: 1. “My father would put his arm around me at church and let me lay my head on his shoulder.” 2. “When my father was facing being transferred at work, he purposely took another job so that I could finish my senior year in high school at the same school.” 3. “When I wrecked my parent’s car, my father’s first reaction was to hug me and let me cry instead of yelling at me.” 4. “My father would let me practice pitching to him for a long time when he got home from work.” 5. “Even though I had never seen him cry before, my father cried during my wedding because he was going to miss me no longer being at home.”
How are you doing on your personal faith journey? What are some specific things you do to provide emotional and spiritual guidance to your family? Keep track of how you spend your time for one week. Be specific and then study it. Does your time management reflect your priorities? Does it raise quality children and build a great marriage? TIME, like everything else, is a precious gift from God. Use it to glorify Him! (To find out more about Pastor Earley or LaGrange Presbyterian Church see www.lagrangepres.com).