• Jon Forrest

Thankful For Dads


The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Thankful for Dads

A pastor was out on the sidewalk welcoming people as they got out of their cars. About 3rd in line was a father and his teenage son. The father had a golf shirt on, and he evidently was dropping his son off at church while he went to play golf. The pastor could hear the teenage boy complaining and asking why he had to go to church. The father replied, “When I was growing up my daddy took me to church every Sunday, and you are going to church as well.” Then the boy replied, “Well, it doesn’t look like it did any good for you, did it?”

Research has established that parents can have a significant impact on the religious beliefs and practices of their children. In one recent study it was found that fathers who frequently attend church (over three times per month), discuss religion at home, and are committed to their religion have sons who follow the same pattern concerning religious values and behavior. Interestingly, fathers who did not do these three things had an inconsistent pattern of influence over their son’s religious responses.

My observation of the years has been that dads who do not attend church with their sons, even if the mother does, teach, by example their sons that Church is only for women and children. Even if the boy loves going, he begins to crave the attention of his hero and Dad is his hero. At a certain point, the boy will quit attending, so he can be with his father and/or just because he thinks he’s too old and manly to go.

And, usually, what he thinks of going to church, he begins to believe about God. Fathers also tend to mold how their children view God, by their example. Everyone knows that God is their heavenly Father. So, if their earthly father is abusive, difficult to please, never showing love and always critical, they will believe that to be the way, God, their heavenly Father is. They will see Him as mean, untrustworthy, abusive, angry and never willing to show love and compassion.

However, a loving earthly father who is trustworthy, kind, gentle, understanding and filled with joy will help his children to see God as that kind of heavenly dad.

No earthly father is perfect. We all struggle with human defects. That is why it is absolutely necessary for earthly fathers to constantly point their children to God as the example. It is also important for earthly fathers to follow that example every day.

Dad, you are the hero of your children, especially your sons, even if you never hear it and don’t deserve it. They look to you for direction and example. Some dads have led their kids to God, while others have driven them away. Their example and choices of words have far more impact than they will ever know.

Some moms, especially single ones, are forced to be that kind of example and guide to their children due to dad’s death, failure or absence. While many moms do an outstanding job, it is important for men in the church family to be available as role models and surrogates to fill in at the request of the mother or with her permission.

Fathers’ Day is a reminder of the value of a dad or the struggle in the absence of one. Being a father is a huge job that must be filled. Every child and adult needs a father or a father figure for example and the imparting of wisdom.

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 says, “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

Thank you God for great dads.

This Sunday is Fathers’ Day. FCC will honor our heavenly Father and all of the dads out there. There should be a special gift for dads and men to take home and I will share a message titled A Good Dad based on 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12. Come and join in the celebration.

Thankful for Dads,

Jon

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