I had one of my most enjoyable Father's Days in recent memory as not only was I able to spend the day with my wife and four children, but also was able to spend the day with my parents and in-laws. It was a great day to spend time together as a family and enjoy one another's company.
On the way home from church this morning, Lori and I had a discussion about the different themes in messages that are given on Father's Day as opposed to Mother's Day. The message given today at my home church in Michigan, Colonial Woods Missionary Church, was an appropriate and good sermon on Matthew 7:24-27 and building your life on a solid foundation.
While the message was a good one and one that I felt personally challenged by, it seems that the type of sermon that dads get on Father's Day is quite different than that which moms get on Mother's Day. If your experience has been like mine, the message on Mother's Day is typically a feel-good encouragement type of thing about how much we love our moms. And rightly so. But the exhortation given to dads is usually of the "step-it-up, you can do better" variety.
Sadly, I think this disparity comes from the neglect that many men give to their responsibilities as a father. I have been very fortunate to have been raised by a loving and caring father, as has my wife, but I realize that many boys and young men don't have that same advantage. Too many men have acted as boys when they impregnate a girl or walk away from marriages, but fail to follow through on the responsibilities that comes with that type of responsibility.
By acknowledging that I hope to recognize that there are far too many men that bail on the privilege of being a dad. But I also know that many of us aren't going anywhere when it comes to the awesome responsibility of raising our kids. We love our wives. We care for our children. We provide protection and provision for our families. And we do this until death do us part.
While many in the mainstream media like to portray as dimwitted, incompetent jerks, most of the men that I know are great husbands and fathers who lead their families courageously in a society full of temptations and competing forces. I would like to give honor to all the dads out there who seek to be godly husbands and fathers and who are committed to staying in the battle for the rest of their lives. I applaud you!
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Isn't it amazing that year after year father's seem to be told "You need to do more...you still don't measure up." Perhaps we should try and figure out what we are striving for (i.e., God's plan for families) and stop trying to measure up with someone else's standard.
If you mom and dad are any indication, you must be a great dad and husband. Good to meet you at church last week.
God Bless, Dean
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