Sunday, June 21, 2009

Will the REAL Dad please Stand Up

Happy Father's Day.

Just as we honor our mothers, it is only right that we set aside a day of recognition for our fathers. Being a father is not an easy task. That certainly is true for Mom but today I wanted to direct my thoughts toward Dad. The task of parenting seems to be more complicated than in generations past. New technologies, increased extra-curricular activities, and busier lives have changed the landscape. Parents need to be even more aware of how their kids spend their time and with whom. Love and time are the keys. Our time will follow our love.

Children are gifts from God. They are handfuls of purpose. And sometimes they really are handfuls. Regardless of the challenge, our kids are worth our efforts fellas. They need us. They will often view God in much the same way they view you and I. I have a healthy, loving, and reverent view of my Heavenly Father because I have the same view of my earthly father.

My dad is not perfect and neither am I as a father but, like my dad, I am committed to my children and to their well being, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Perfection is not the issue. Faithfulness is. I have had to apologise to my boys on a few occasions because of wrong I had done. I have had to discipline them for wrong they have done. In both apology and discipline, my motivation was love. I desire that my sons grow to be godly men who desire to be faithful to the Lord and to their own families when God blesses them with such.

We do not have to be experts. We need to give ourselves. That means we love, protect, provide for, listen to, nurture, and teach our kids. We can not do those things without spending time in the process. God will, I believe, give us the wisdom to teach our kids what they need. Often that means living in front of them a godly example for them to want to follow. Be as kind on Monday as you are on Sunday. Keep your promises. Tell your kids often that you love and approve of them just for being who they are.

We live in a generation of drop-out dads. That is not new news but it is true. Far too often a biological father shows up only for special occasions and is granted celebrity status while Mom's faithfulness is all but forgotten. A good step-dad has to take a back seat to "real" Dad. I realize not all marriages last until death do us part. I know that divorce is not all the fault of men. But I do fault men who regularly neglect their kids except when those guys feel a need for an ego boost. They get to wear the title Dad when they please.

I guess it sounds like I have a chip on my shoulder and I suppose I do. I have two sons. They are more to me than my wife's sons from a previous marriage. They are not my biological sons but they are mine nonetheless. There are many across our land like myself. We adopt, in our hearts, minds, and lives, these kids we call ours. We give ourselves to and for them. We are dads.

Remember, having the title of "real" dad may not make a guy a real dad. I salute every father who invests himself in the lives of his children even if he and his kids have different last names. I urge every father to stand up, be a man, and love your kids enough to spend time with them. Earn the title DAD.

My sons do not bear my last name but by God's grace they do and will continue to bear the marks of my love and time.

Because He lives,