Let me walk you through one family’s scenario that seems to play out in most homes throughout the years. This particular family had three small children who were determined to have a puppy. The mother was born, but not yesterday and she protested vigorously knowing how things would unfold, knowing she would quickly become a single parent to a little critter, as her kids would abandon their duties. After they begged and pretended to take care of their stuffed animals she finally, against her better judgment, relented and brought a chocolate lab home, which the kids quickly named Danny. For the first month, her children surprised her, the novelty of a pet was enough that they were fighting over who got to walk the dog, which got to watch it drink its water or in whose room it slept. Yet, just when she thought that her kids were the rare exception, it happened, true to form, the newness finally wore off, and the pet because problematic, it needed to be fed, walked, and cleaned up after—daily.
Finally, she decided that the children were not living up to their promise so she began to search for a new home for Danny. When she found one and broke the news to the children, she was quite surprised that they had almost no reaction at all. One of them even said rather matter-of-factly, ”We’ll miss him.”
”I’m sure we will,” Mom answered, ”but he is too much work for one person and since I’m the one that has to do all the work, I say he goes. ”But,” protested another child, ”if he wouldn’t eat so much and wouldn’t be so messy, could we keep him?”Mom held her ground, ”It’s time to take Danny to his new home.” Suddenly, with one voice and with tears in their eyes, the children exclaimed, ”Danny? We thought you said Daddy!” (http://www.sermons.org/fathers.html)
One time a little boy was asked to define Father’s Day and he said, “It’s just like Mother’s Day only you don’t have to spend as much on the present.” Someone once noticed that the word father appears in some dictionaries right after the word fathead and right before the word fatigued. Fathers have a tough job, oftentimes viewed as an extra part, a nonessential, a fathead or fatigued, but today we are going to stop to rightly honor Fathers and see the roles that are absolutely essential if we are going to be faithful in fulfilling the call of God in our lives.
What roles are father’s called to take on?
Spiritual Leaders (Ephesians 5:21-22) Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…,
Now this may seem like a strange place to start on Father’s Day, why in the world would we start father’s day with a focus on husbands and wives. But this is a place where a lot of parents kind of get things out of whack. Maybe you have even said it or felt the urge to declare to the world just how devoted you are: “My children are number 1.” Children in fact, can become the center of our universe. Yet, oftentimes, children don’t need to be put first; they need you to put first things first. If you are married, part of the spiritual leadership is going to be lived out through loving your spouse, giving them a stable example of Christ, making his love lived out everyday life recognizable and within reach.
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky used to credit some of his legendary success to a key point of leadership that transcends the sports world: “I go” he said, “where the puck is going to be, not where it is.” That is tough, but as we lead, it requires seeing beyond the immediate to the important. David Kraft was a big, strong man — all muscle. At the age of 32, he was six feet, two inches tall and weighed 200 pounds. He had been to seminary and ended up working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, because of his athletic background. Then he was diagnosed with cancer. It wracked his body, and over a period of time, he dropped from 200 pounds to 80 pounds. When he was about ready to pass from this life into eternity, he asked his father to come into his hospital room. Lying there in bed, he looked up and said, “Dad, do you remember when I was a little boy, how you used to hold me in your arm close to your chest?” David’s father nodded. Then David said, “Do you think, Dad, you could do that one more time? One last time?”
Again his father nodded. He bent down to pick up his 32-year-old, six-foot, two-inch, 80 pound son, and held him close to his chest, so that the son’s face was right next to the father’s face. They were eyeball to eyeball. Tears were streaming down both faces, and the son said to his father, “Thank you for building the kind of character into my life that can enable me to face even a moment like this.” (Ron Lee Davis, “Introducing Christ to Your Child,” Preaching Today, Tape No.92)
We put so much effort into leading our kids in the sports world, academic world, or through the world of opportunity that we can leave them behind when it comes to faith. That hit me this week when I took part in the Decision America Tour 2016, where Franklin Graham tried to rally America to take part in bringing Christian values back into the marketplace of ideas, to bring resurgence politically, economically, and culturally. The only problem was looking around and seeing that the vast majority of people all looked the same (mostly white) and were mostly older. Don’t get caught leading your children to the wrong things. Men, I dare you to be that kind of father (or grandfather) to your children. Dare to build into them the kind of character that will enable them to face anything in life. Then you will be a real leader, not only in your home, but among your peers, as well. Fathers your families need you.