The saying goes “Anybody can be a Father, but it takes a real man to be a Dad”. What does that mean? To be a Real Father, It first takes God to be the center of your life. It takes a total surrender of yourself and your time. It takes your total attention to every detail. It takes just about everything you got. How can this be done? only though God can it be truly done.
Some people put it this way.
F is for Faithful
A is for Admiration
T is for Thankful
H is for Humble
E is for Endurance
R is for being the “Rock” that holds the family together!
As I was growing up, I watched my brothers as they made mistakes that all kids make and I watched my Dad discipline them for doing wrong. I watched because all I knew was, that I did NOT want to make those same mistakes. I learned what to do and I learned what not to do. Ever since I can remember, I always had that built in desire to please my Dad. I did not receive the same discipline that my older brothers did because (1.) I did not want the same punishment for doing the things they did, but (2.) and most importantly. I wanted my Dad to be proud of me. This kept me from doing some of the things I knew were wrong….I said some.
Of course he knew this and used that as a more gentle way of disciplining me. All it took when I did something wrong was to see the look on his face and this feeling of just utter despair came over me and I knew I never wanted to do that again. Although you can’t see God’s face when you do something wrong, he put this same desire in you when the Holy Spirit enters you when you become a Born Again Christian. The Inner desire to please him.
I was so blessed by God to have my Dad, although you never fully realize that until your older. He walked that line of making sure we knew when we did something wrong but also making sure we knew that he loved us. And Yes I heard many times that old saying “This is going to hurt me, more than it hurts you”, even if I didn’t believe it then, I learned to believe it later when I became a Dad.
My Dad is a shining example of what a Father should be. Not because he thought of it himself, but it was because of his close walk with Jesus that he was able to put into practice the same things that Jesus does for us as a Father. He gave us such an example of how to love people, how to treat people, and most of all how to love God.
The one thing my Dad made the priority of his Fatherhood was his “Time”. He not only spent quality time with us but he also spent such a quantity of time with us. He was always doing something with us, whether it was playing football or basketball, taking us hiking or to the park, or even if it was just sitting and talking. We knew he loved us, he was always there when we needed him. All these things are good and should be done by Fathers but the most important thing my Dad ever did was raising us to Love God.
Now, we didn’t always get that and a lot of times we went the opposite way, but as Proverbs 22:6 says “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” and that is just what he did. He spent hours upon hours teaching us about Jesus and what he did for us. We didn’t listen right away. All three of us decided we knew better than Dad did on how to become happy. But just as God’s words are true and just. Here I am today, as a Born again Slave to the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is nothing I did to deserve this. This was a gift from God that he would continue to knock on the door of my heart until I realized that I needed him. That I needed to turn my life over to him. God gets all the glory for this, but it is my Dad that he used to accomplish it. Without my Dad being there and never once giving up on me is the reason I am a Born Again Christian today. It is all that time and effort that he put into us as kids, the seeds he planted in us that God used to bring me back to him. He couldn’t make me follow God but he had the patience and love over the years to keep pointing me towards God.
My Dad will never receive a medal in this life for his selfless sacrifice in raising us. He will never receive the full measure for his deeds in this life for all that he did for us. But God who counts every deed and every thought has not forgotten one ounce of effort that my Dad put into us. When my Dad walks into Heaven, he will receive it all in full.
I know there may be some of you out there that may not have had a Father like this, and for that, I can only say that God our Heavenly Father is able to fill that gap for you. It is also one of the reasons that I say that I was truly blessed to know my Dad. He is the Rock that my family is anchored to, and he is anchored to the real Rock, Jesus.
So as the title says “What makes a Father”? God is still teaching me these things everyday but I have a head start just looking back at what my Dad did for us. The rest will be found in living out what the Bible teaches. We have no better example than that of our Heavenly Father and his love for us. My Dad mirrored that in his life so I will have no excuse for not being a real Father to my kids.
I used to hope that I would be a good father. Now I know that hoping I would be, is not good enough. It is the effort that HAS to be put in, that my kids need. You get one chance to be a Father and anything less than your best is not going to be good enough.
Thank you Dad for all that you have done for us. For being the road map that I needed to find my way home, to Jesus.
I love you
Happy Fathers Day!