A couple of weeks ago I was sorting some things in my office and came across a few drawings my kids gave me when they were young.
I began to recall the special memories I have of being a dad to young, growing children. Although they are adults now, I still think of the days they were little, and I wonder…. Did I give them a happy life? Was I a good example for them? Did they know they were loved? Obviously, I know I was not the perfect father, but I do hope they know I tried and am still trying.
Although Father’s Day is a day we set aside to honour our fathers, I know that this day does not inspire fond memories for everyone. Some people did not have a positive father figure growing up. Some do not have a very good relationship with their dad, while others did not have a dad around when they were young, a father they could spend time with and share the special events of life. Unfortunately, life is not always fair that way.
In the first book of Samuel (chapters 14-20) Jonathon had a father who was not the best role model for him. And he came to realize that he was not exactly proud of the actions of his father, King Saul. Jonathon didn’t want to believe that his father would do the unethical things he was hearing. However, he began to see his dad for who he really was, and the picture he saw was not one he could be proud of. Although Saul was not a model father figure for his son, Jonathon still became a man of integrity, a loyal and true friend to David. He may not have had a perfect earthly father figure, but his God became the role model for his life.
Maybe Father’s Day is not simply a day to honour our earthly father, but just as important, a day for us to consider the person we have become. Jonathon did not have a positive role model for a father, yet he became the kind of man you would be proud to call your friend. Although I have a father who has taught me the importance of being a man of character and tried to give me an example to follow, I still need to work on this every day.
I find that on Father’s Day I reflect on not just the type of father, but the type of man I have become.
I am amazed at how scriptures provide us with so much practical everyday wisdom on how to not just live Godly lives, but practical wisdom when taken to heart, helps us to live lives that are good, and joy filled.
Listen to some of the wisdom Solomon spoke…He said that wise instruction is of more value than silver or gold (Proverbs 8:10-11). He also said that “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4). As well as “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10: 9). And, “A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth” (Proverbs 11:16). And, a wise person learns from discipline, instead of hating it (Proverbs 12:1). As well as, better a simple meal where there is love than a lavish meal where there is hatred (Proverbs 15:17). All are practical words of wisdom for living a good and God honouring life.
I encourage you this Father’s Day Weekend to spend time in appreciating your dad and the special father figures in your life. But I also want to challenge you to spend time in the wise words of God. Consider your life and the example you are to others. Live with integrity and live as a model to the people looking for an example of a good life. The wise words of God will help you with that, after all He is the best Father.
David Rayner is the pastor at Connection Christian Church, which meets weekly at the Steel Recital Hall on the UPEI campus. A guest sermon runs regularly in Saturday’s Guardian and is provided through Christian Communications.