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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
"Fathers do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged."  Colossians 3:21 (NIV)
Tomorrow we will celebrate Father’s Day.  To those dads who love and care for your children, you are to be commended!  The time you are investing in each child will reap many benefits now and in the future. 
There is no higher calling in life than for a father to love God and his family.  By assuming the role of spiritual leader in his home, a father will then strive to live as Jesus did and pass that love on to others.   In his book Emotions: Can You Trust Them?, Dr. James Dobson says the following, "Christian men pass on to their children a spiritual heritage that is more valuable than any monetary estate they could have accumulated.”  How wonderful it is to see a father leave such a spiritual legacy as this for his children.
Whatever the age of a father or his child, a dad occupies a place in a child's heart that no one else can satisfy.  Many children have wonderful memories of a childhood relationship with their father.  More often than not, these special relationships will continue as the children reach adulthood.  A father might then take on the role of a friend/advisor/confidant.  This type of relationship is a blessing that should always be cherished.  
However, not all children can relate to a positive relationship with their father.  Bonnie Gray, a writer for Crosswalk.com says the following:  A person can die lonely in pursuit of a father’s love.”  Sadly, too many children today feel loneliness due to a father who has removed himself from their lives. Other children may be suffering from the effects of a father who is too busy to spend quality time with them because of work or other activities.  Perhaps some fathers fail to show affection or speak words of unconditional love and self-worth to their children.  Quite often, this type of father does not show the proper love that his children need because his ability to be a good father is clouded by his own unresolved issues. Unfortunately, it is the children who bear the brunt of the resulting hurt, leaving them with feelings of rejection.  Any type of neglect on a father’s part will result in issues for the children in their formative years as well as later in life.  There is no doubt that many adults still feel loneliness deep inside because they missed out on a special relationship that only their father could have given them.
For those who might relate more to the preceding paragraph and have not had a desired relationship with your earthly father, please know that each of us has a heavenly Father who will never leave us, who loves us unconditionally, and who will never disappoint us or be disappointed in us.  God always keeps His promises.  He loves us unconditionally and forever.  Zephaniah 3:17 gives such wonderful assurance of God’s love with these words: “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”  (NIV)    
From a personal standpoint, I would like to wish my husband, Ray, a very Happy Father's Day. Without a doubt, he loves our children and grandchildren very much and wants the best for each one of them.  He is always available to help with their specific needs or offer insight--at their request.  Over the years, Ray has modeled his relationship with God for our children and grandchildren and has encouraged them to walk in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He has been a wonderful provider for our family and has always taken that role and responsibility very seriously.  Consequently, we are happy to see that same quality exhibited in our sons and sons-in-law.  How happy we are to observe their love and affection for their children, as well as their strong work ethic in providing for the precious family members God has placed in their care.
Happy Father's Day!

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