2019 | Week of June 10 | #1312
This year our Director of Church Relations, Dave Lingle, wrote a great piece on being a Christian dad. I think it’s worth sharing here. At a time when fatherlessness is truly epidemic in our society and is playing a major role in so many of the ills we are experiencing, encouraging Christian fathers is time well spent. With that, here’s what Dave writes,
“On Fathers’ Day last year a friend remarked that on Mothers’ Day we honor moms and on Fathers’ Day we rail on dads. An uncomfortable measure of truth might be there. Maybe it is uncomfortable because it isn’t entirely fair. Or maybe because it isn’t entirely unjustified. As the father of three adult sons, I reflect on my own parenting history. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t all stellar, either.
“So what is my advice for you as a dad or dad-to-be? I want you to know that you can be a good dad. You, like all the rest of us dads, won’t be perfect. But you can be good, because you have the Word of God which thoroughly equips you for all good works (I Tim. 3:16-17), including the work of being a good dad. To be a good dad, a few basic commitments are in order.
- Be a Christian dad. To be a Christian is to be Christ-like. Commit yourself to being like Christ to your children. Give them truth and give them grace (John 1:14). Give them an example of humble, loving service in the home and in your church, in your community and in your employment. Love your spouse and serve your spouse. Be a servant leader in the home. Be a Christian, 24-7, 365 days a year. And when you fail, as inevitably we all have or will, ask forgiveness. Don’t just say “I’m sorry.” Express your sorrow, admit your failing and say the words: “Will you forgive me?” Both you and your children will grow in grace and humility if you do this.
- Pray for your children. I know it is a lot easier to talk about prayer than to actually do it. But if we really do believe God answers prayer, then surely we must be dads (grandpas, great-grandpas, etc.) who pray for our children daily. We should pray for them “without ceasing.” Pray they will know the Lord, love the Lord and serve the Lord all of their lives. Pray that God will protect them from the temptations they will face. Let them know you are praying for them. It reminds them that your faith is genuine and your love for them is real.
- Be present. Yes, you likely have to work and providing for your family is an important priority (I Tim. 5:8). But priorities can be tricky. They easily morph into idols. So keep work and hobbies in proper perspective by remembering that the most important priority any father can have after His walk with God and his relationship with his wife is to spend time with his children. Talk to them. Interact with them. Play games with them. Help them with their homework. Teach them how to work. Your presence in their lives communicates the powerful message that they are important to you, that you care about them and that you are there for them. This will help lay a firm foundation for the structure of their lives.
- Rely on God. Ask Him for the wisdom you need to be a good dad (James 1:5). I believe this is a prayer our good God is anxious to answer! He will help you be a good dad if you truly want His help, and you willingly submit to His work in your own life.
“You can be a good dad. You likely already are. Commit yourself to moving from good to better and your children will view you as the best. You may never be recognized as Father of the Year by the world, but you can be viewed as such by your children and your God! Being a dad truly is a sacred calling and a special privilege.”
I believe Dave Lingle has worked hard to practice what he preaches and is a good and loving husband, dad and grandpa!
To all you fathers, we wish you a wonderful and blessed Fathers’ Day this coming Sunday, and we remind children especially that the Biblical commandment to honor our fathers isn’t restricted to one day a year but rather 24/7, 365!
For more information and to learn how you can support the work of Wisconsin Family Council, please visit wifamilycouncil.org or call 888-378-7395.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”