2016 | Week of June 13 | #1155
This Sunday we honor fathers. While it is impossible to overstate the importance of a mom in the life of a child, it is equally impossible to overstate the important role that a loving and engaged father plays.
Study after study confirms this, consistently identifying the important roles dads play in the lives of both daughters and sons and the negative effects on children when there is no dad involved in their lives. The study results should come as no surprise. The God who created family knows the best family structure is a married mom and dad who love and nurture their children.
As Christians it is good and right for us to do what we can to minister to children who have lost their fathers due to an early death, or who through no fault of their own find themselves in a fatherless home. It is also good and right for us to routinely remind everyone the best for children is for them to grow up in a home with their married biological parents.
Sometimes life situations make us think more deeply and purposefully about these truths. Recently one of our staff members, Dave Lingle, lost his dad after a short battle against cancer. Dave wrote an article for our June “Church Connection” about his dad and some lessons learned. What Dave expressed is worth sharing here.
This son, now a dad and a grandfather himself, writes, ‘Dad’s passing naturally caused me to reflect not only on his heritage to me, but also on what kind of heritage I have created and am creating as a dad and grandfather. I share some of my thoughts this Fathers’ Day and encourage all dads to join me in considering the heritage we are creating for our children.
“A heritage of faith. My dad was forty years old when he trusted Christ as his Savior. I was a senior in Bible college. While I did not grow up with a Christian dad, I did have the privilege of knowing and watching him as a believer for the last forty years. Among other things, I appreciated his faithful attendance in his local church. My dad was not perfect. But the truth is when he became a Christian, old things passed away and all things became new.
“A heritage of faithfulness. Dad stayed married to my mom. It was a decision and a choice he made. I am grateful he made that choice, not only for the blessing he enjoyed by honoring God’s plan, but also for the blessing that choice was to his children and his grandchildren. Through good times and challenging times, he chose to do what was right by his family. We are blessed and challenged by his example of faithfulness.
“A heritage of involvement and encouragement. Even before he became a Christian, my dad was teaching me and my siblings. As much as anything, he taught by example. He was a hard worker, often working long hours to provide for his family. I didn’t fully realize or appreciate it at the time, but dad worked as hard as he did to make sure we had the things we needed. Even though he didn’t have a high school diploma, he eventually became a successful transportation manager for two different companies. And I couldn’t even begin to list all the things he has done for his adult children over the years.
“So what will your heritage be? How do you want to be remembered? I have pondered and continue to think about these two questions. Whether you are about to embark on the adventure of being a father, or are smack dab in the middle of it, or like me are enjoying my adult children and their spouses–and especially my grandchildren!—it is important to contemplate the heritage you will leave and to be intentional about it.
“The culture wants us to believe fathers are optional. The culture is wrong. As a husband and a dad, you play a role in the life of your family that really is irreplaceable. May we each commit to doing all we can, by God’s grace, to leave a heritage of faith and faithfulness.”
Well said, Dave. Well said. Wisconsin Family Council hopes this Fathers’ Day is a day when all you dads and granddads get a chance to enjoy in a special way the heritage you are creating for those coming behind you who bear your imprint.
For Wisconsin Family Council, this is Julaine Appling reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”