“For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers...”
1 Cor. 4:15 ESV
Today, our nation honors fathers. For some, it's a wonderful time of celebration as children and grandchildren visit or call to express their love and appreciation. However, not all fathers and children are able to enjoy Father's Day as many have conflicted or difficult relationships with their loved ones.
Allow me to talk about my father who went to be with the Lord 32 years ago this month. I’m so grateful for him and that he was present in my life for 50 years; living the last 2 years in our home. Even though he was very ill and in a great deal of pain, the opportunity to have casual conversations, recall events from the past, and witness his hope and faith for the future was rich.
Dad was not dynamic, sophisticated, nor ever made big money, but that never prevented our family from enjoying life. Vacations, or any aspect of our life, were not extravagant, but created memories that I recall today. As I grew older, I realized the sacrifices he made for the family, specifically providing baseball equipment for me. He was an anchor in my early life. He always seemed to have a way to solve problems and tasks. Going to work, tithing, faithfulness in church attendance, and serving were learned by watching him go about daily life.
He had great authority in my life. I was selfish enough to want things immediately, but I had confidence that I would have what I needed, and usually more. I didn’t “act out." Not because I was afraid of punishment, but rather because I didn’t want to disappoint him. Our relationship was instrumental in my ability to grasp the idea that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us without measure.
Your Father’s Day may not provide pleasant memories, but rather adverse emotions. The tape of life cannot be rewound to undo the mistakes that were made, but we can choose to live our lives differently going forward.
Any change will likely begin by forgiving him and choose to honor him, not because he is honorable by deed, but because God’s Word instructs us to do so.
Our culture has attempted to marginalize men and fathers. I believe our culture is reaping the harvest of fathers not being present in their children’s lives. It is witnessed in low self esteem, poor scholastic performance, as well as other measurements. Despite cultures efforts, the challenge is to withstand that and lead and instruct from a position of strength.
Don’t allow our insecurities to hinder our relationship with sons and daughters. We have something they need regardless of age. It takes a real man to be a father. It is not our physical strength or net worth that fulfills that need in their life. It requires being present in their life; walking out life before God and them.
May you have a wonderful day with your father and/or children.
Pastor Allen Baun