Sunday is a special day. As you know, it’s Father’s Day. To my pastor friends out there. Let me give you a brief word of encouragement. Normally we build up moms on Mother’s Day and beat up dad’s on Father’s Day. Don’t do that! Instead, offer them encouragement. Give them hope. Cast a vision for what it means to be a dad.
With that in mind, I thought I would share with you a few things I learned from my dad…
1. How to learn the value of hard work. My dad has always been a hard worker. But he also wanted his children to work hard. Especially his firstborn son! I began working at age ten at my father’s business. This wasn’t just work, it was hard work. Outside. In the hot sun. Every Day. Manual Labor. But I learned a valuable lesson. I learned what it means to work and to work hard. My dad passed on a good work ethic to me. Something I definitely want my children to learn.
2. How to love your wife and family. There was never any doubt growing up that my dad loved me. He provided for me, took care of me, and told me he loved me. While I knew that I was loved, my mom and dad made it very clear that they loved each other the most! They loved the kids, but they loved each other even more. And while many think this may cause emotional harm or instability, the opposite is true. It brings strength and security to the home. Don’t be afraid to love your wife in front of the kids!
3. How to lift up your children in prayer. One of the most important things you can do for your kids is pray for them. And one of the most important things you can do with your kids is to pray with them. We spend time on sports, piano, ballet, education, social activities, and so much more. In the end, these things don’t matter in light of eternity. My dad taught me the value of prayer. Shortly after I accepted the call to ministry as a junior in High School, my dad offered to pray with me every morning. We woke up early and prayed. He prayed for me and he prayed with me. Those times together made a lasting impression on me.
4. How to live with integrity. It seems that integrity is all but lost in our families, our society, and even our churches. What is integrity? Being honest, truthful, and upright. Being the same person at work, at church, and at home. My dad taught me how to live with integrity. Dad, your kids are watching, your family is watching, and the world is watching. Live with integrity!
5. How to lead a family. I never knew the responsibility and burden of leading a family until I had one of my own. There is a huge weight on your shoulders when you are responsible for providing for others – their well-being and spiritual development. Being a godly dad means showing your children what it means to lead a family. It was never a question in my house if we were going to church. It was never a question if we were going to tithe. It was never an issue if I was went to youth camp. It was never a problem that I was called to the ministry.
6. How to leave a legacy. “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.” This verse promises that a godly father will leave an incredible legacy. Why? Because their kids are rich ball players? They’re CEO’s of major companies? No. Because their dad left a legacy. Think about what you’ll leave behind. I’m a living testimony today to the legacy of my father. And one day, my children will be a living testimony to the kind of father I was. I don’t want to succeed at being a pastor and fail at being a father.