• Jon Forrest

The value of dad

The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

The Value of Dad!


Fathers are among the most misunderstood and undervalued commodity in the world today. A little boy was asked what he knew about Fathers’ Day. He replied, “It’s just like Mothers’ Day, only you don’t have to spend as much on the gift.” How many times have you seen? An athlete is put on camera during a game. Does he mouth the words, “Hi, Dad?” NEVER! It’s always, “Hi, Mom!” But that’s okay! Mom’s should be placed on a pedestal.


What is not okay is when dads undervalue their role in the life of the family. For years, dads have over emphasized their job as “bread winner.” They often work more hours than required because they think bringing home more money to buy more stuff is more valuable than time spent with their wives and children.


What Dad does to give guidance and support will last a lifetime, while all the “stuff” they buy will be broken, lost or outgrown in a short time. Sometimes, Dad overvalues his personal time, thinking that being the “breadwinner” entitles him to go hang out with “the guys” or simply disappear behind a newspaper or put his nose in the television screen when kids need help with homework or advice about a boyfriend or girlfriend or when a bully is making their life miserable at school.

I have heard it said that no man ever proclaimed from his death bed, "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."

Some dads (and sometimes moms) send their children to Sunday School or worship services instead of taking them. Their example has a crucial, if not eternal impact. My observation over the years has been that when little boys go to church with Mom and/or grandparents, but Dad stays home, eventually the son will determine that church Is for women, children and old people, but not for men. Therefore, they often “outgrow” their need and desire for it. They also begin to want more of Dad’s attention and learn that they can get more “Dad time” when they skip church.


I know of people who despise Fathers’ Day because, when they were young, they had an abusive or “checked out” Dad who left them bitter and disappointed. Years ago, I heard Focus on the Family founding director, Dr. James Dobson, explain that children often get their impression of the Heavenly Father from their relationship with their earthly one. If he is correct, one must conclude that “If Dad is abusive, God must be too.” “If Dad is never around, God must be gone.” “If Dad is mean, God must be mean.” On the other hand, “If Dad is loving and caring, God must be too.” “If Dad loves to worship with me, God must think it’s important too.”


Dad, you are very important. A multitude of studies have expressed how that disaster often follows children who have no relationship with a father or father figure. They are frequently the ones who end up in gangs or in the sex traffic industry, or strung out on drugs, or dropping out of school or any number of sad, self-esteem related problems.


When I was taking Education Psychology at Dallas Christian College, I recall a statement by the professor, Dr. Ron Rife about parents and children. He said, “Children can handle mean parents. Its inconsistent parents that they can’t handle.” Dad’s your children need a consistent, loving relationship with you. Don’t undervalue the influence you have on them.


Keep in mind that if you grew up with a father who was terrible. Or, if you didn’t have a father, whether by his choice or by his death or some other reason; or if your father is no longer living and you miss him, you still have a perfect Father with you. God is the Father everyone needs. He looks out for you and watches over you. You can talk with Him anytime because He’s always available through prayer and in the Word.

Never under rate the value of a father or The Father! You’ll always have one if you look to Him.

Happy Fathers’ Day,


Jon

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