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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Is Your Dad Perfect?

Photo credit: manuere from Some people may answer  "yes" to this question, but I know some, men especially, who will give an unequivocal "no." It always saddens me when I hear the latter. My own father, who departed this life when I was just a little girl, was my hero. He taught me to read and spell while he indulged his hobby/part-time occupation -shoemaking. Needless to say, I had shoes to match every dress, and love shoes to this day.

My father also cultivated in me a love for reading and I became a good speller. I enjoyed going places with him, and when I heard his voice in the front yard in the evening, I would leave my mother and run to meet him. She often complained that I loved my father more than I did her, which wasn't true, of course. I was just fascinated with him - his voice, his smile, his jokes. The only bad thing I can recall about my dad is that he left me too soon. Late at night, quite suddenly and without warning. Died of a stroke in his sleep.

So, what about your dad? Is he flawless in your eyes? A man's man? A woman's man? As head of the home, fathers carry a heavy responsibility. They are entrusted with the task of providing, protecting and caring for the home and family. The mother is the one who nurtures, comforts and keeps the home together. However, a real father assumes the mother's role as well. The father who confronts the school bully is the same father who takes his little girl on his lap and reads her a bedtime story. Or tucks her in at night. Or takes her to the doctor when she is ill.

Sadly, some dads do not measure up to the ideal. Some walk out on their families and never look back. Others stay in the home, provide and protect but do little else. We need to pray for these fathers. I think of King David, a mighty man of God, but his track record as a father left a lot to be desired. His son, Amnon, raped his daughter Tamar (2 Samuel 13: 10 - 18) and even though the Bible says David was furious (v 21) he did nothing about it. Absalom, David's other son, had Amnon executed to avenge what he had done to his sister.

Later, Absalom fled from David and they didn't see each other for two years. Eventually, Absalom tried to take the throne from David and to murder him, but Absalom himself was killed. On hearing the news, David wept bitterly. "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you--O Absalom, my son, my son!" (18: 33).

Many thoughts run through my mind when I think of David. After his sin with Bathsheba, the prophet, Nathan, told him, "Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house ..." (12: 10). Oh, if David only knew the weight of those words. As a father, his sins fell not only on him, but on his children. Fathers, do not let this happen to you. The Bible says, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Provide, protect and care for your family, but make sure you obey God's word. Happy Father's Day!
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