D. A. D.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's time again to honor our dads with Father's Day. I like living in a country that has decided it's important to recognize and honor parents. We have a special day in May for our moms and then this Sunday in June for our dads.

As I was pondering on this, I was reminded of a book I once read, taken from a scripture, entitled "There Are Not Many Fathers." The whole premise was about the importance of fathers being fathers and how few we have that actually understand the importance of fatherhood; what it takes to be a good, loving, supportive father, with the determination to be all they can be for their kids.

We are not talking about a lack of sires, or sperm donors and some are calling them today. We have plenty of them and the evidence is all around us. But to be a father takes another whole set of parameters, guidelines, and rules. Even though the Bible is full of lots of advice, too few preachers are preaching it, and let's face it -- too few young men of that age are coming to church to hear the preacher's message. Which leaves us in a dilemma.

I thought of what we could make by using the three letters in DAD. I came up with a few like "Dead As a Doornail." Some men end up being couch potatoes in front of the TV, disconnected and in a zone of their own. This can happen in even what we'd consider "good" families, or those that look good on the outside. However, they are not good if dad isn't taking his rightful place as head of his household and being the one set up by God to be the disciplinarian.

A disengaged dad doesn't even see what's going on around him, let alone take care of any disciplinary problems. Unfortunately, when discipline is neglected, it too often ends up as punishment being doled out without the child even knowing what he or she did wrong. There's no learning curve there!

Here's one that goes a step further, "Drunk And Disorderly." I work with the folks up at Synergy, and my heart goes out to them, but also to their families. To have a charge of drunk and disorderly on one's record is one thing -- but for a little kid to live with that stigma over the person he looks up to and wants to admire is another whole ball game. Alcohol and drugs have done untold damage to the family structure in America, and the aftermath is not pretty.

How about "Divorced And Distracted"? Far too often, the fathers get distracted from the needs of the family after a divorce, even if it's amicable with visitation rights, etc. Anger and bitterness are almost always a part of any divorce situation and when there's a parting of the ways, there's often a distance formed between father and children The Bible clearly states that God hates divorce, and for good reason. I have said for years that divorce is a lose-lose situation and the kids are always the biggest losers.

However, let me make it clear -- God does not hate the divorced! It is a sin in His eyes and He is very concerned with the fallout, but His love goes on forever and we can always repent and renew our relationship with Him--even if the relationship with the spouse is over. The one thing He will require, though, is to stay connected with the kids. He has called them His blessing to us and we are to treat them as such

Kids know the difference between being busy and being distracted. We can be busy and still find time to be with them, talk with them and do fun things with them. A distracted father, however, is not even "there" even when he's there.

I don't think God had any of these acronyms in mind. So, how about "Devoted And Determined." A devoted dad is a treasure! Kids know it, mom knows it, everyone knows it because it shows in so many ways. There isn't a game or a play or a concert that he doesn't attend if his kids are involved. He's willing to meet with the teachers along with his wife, and he'll do whatever it takes to help his children in their developing years. He to it that the family gets to church and shows his devotion to God openly, as an example for them.

However, devotion also takes determination. There are distractions in this world and a busy father has many. It's always a choice and the wise man will chose his family above everything else because he knows the value this bestows to them, and the pleasure this gives his Heavenly Father.

When I was a new Christian, the Lord dissected the word business for me and it came out like this: bus-i-ness or busyness. I had centered my whole life around our business and set myself up as it's sole support. Without my complete attention, it would fail! Everything I did and every thought I had was around the business. The Lord showed me that the devil is good at keeping us so busy at our bus-i-ness that we have no time left for our families or for Him.

Little boys like to think of their dads as "Daring And Dauntless." They get in a fight with a neighbor kid and say things like, "My dad can beat up on your dad." Their dads are their heroes and they see them as ready, willing and able to take on any task, any dare, any danger--and be victorious!

Little girls like to think of him as "Dashing And Delightful." There's nothing smarter that a dad can do for his daughter than dress up and take her on a special date. Pick a birthday, Valentine's Day, or just a special day and make it a time to remember between father and daughter. You will be showing her how a real man should treat a young lady, and equip her with confidence for when the tie time comes for her to pick the father of her own children. She'll choose wisely and you will never regret it the time and attention you gave to her.

Dad's generally have to get older before they're considered "Darlings And Dears." After we have children of our own and make a few mistakes, we come to realize how comforting it is to go to an older and wiser grandpa for good advice. It's at those times that we think of them as old darlings and just plain dear hearts! And we're thankful to God for giving them to us as our dads, and for keeping them alive to remain our dads--but more than that, as grandpa to the kids!

Which D.A.D. do you want to be? Choose God and His ways and have a Happy Father's Day!