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< In the midst of all this paternal guilt, there is, however, a hunger. A deep-seated hunger. A hunger that will not go away. It is the hunger for a father. >
II. THE REALITY OF FATHER-HUNGER.
A. Erma Bombeck, in an uncharacteristically serious FD column, wrote about that hunger: "One morning my father didn't get up and go to work. He went to the hospital and died the next day. I hadn't thought that much about him before. He was just someone who left and came home and seemed glad to see everyone at night. He opened the jar of pickles when no one else could. He was the only one in the house who wasn't afraid to go into the basement by himself. He cut himself shaving, but no one kissed it or got excited about it. It was understood that when it rained, he got the car and brought it around to the door. When anyone was sick, he went out to get the prescription filled. He took lots of pictures ... but he was never in them. Whenever I played house, the mother doll had a lot to do. I never knew what to do with the daddy doll, so I had him say, "I'm going off to work now" and threw him under the bed. The funeral was in our living room and a lot of people came and brought all kinds of good food and cakes. We had never had so much company before. I went to my room and felt under the bed for the daddy doll. When I found him I dusted him off and put him on my bed. He never did anything. I didn't know his leaving would hurt so much." (Erma Bombeck, The Ties that Bind ... And Gag! [NY: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1987], p. 2)
B. Like it or not, our fathers have an incredible impact on our lives.
1. Illust. Most of the time we as fathers are unaware of that impact. I was reminded this past week when I looked at Zachary's kindergarten report card. Under the entry, "Prints his name correctly" Zachary got a "P" for "part of the time" rather than a "M" for "most of the time." An explanatory note from the teacher said, "Zachary reverts to all capital letters frequently." Want to guess who prints in all capital letters? Guess where Zachary learned it!
2. Illust. In the popular 1991 movie City Slickers three urban men are trying to deal with mid-life crisis by going on a cattle drive. In one scene the three men are asking each other what the best & worst days of their lives were. For each, a father was involved. For one his best day was when his father took him to Yankee Stadium. For another it was the day he got married and his father winked at him during the ceremony. For another the best & worst day were the same--the day he told his father to get out of the house because he was hurting the family through infidelity.
3. There's a lot of social science evidence, but it will only confirm what you already know--fathers have an incredible impact on our lives.
a. There's even evidence that suggests that the single largest determinant of how a child thinks of God is how they think of their father.
b. Is it any wonder that some fathers feel a mixture of guilt and overwhelming responsibility on a day like this?
c. What to do?
III. THE BLESSING OF FATHERS.
A. Fathers, we are far from perfect; We're going to make mistakes; We're going to have bad days.
1. We will not be able to be everything we want to be to our families.
2. We are not going to be able
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