Summary: It seems dads get beat up a lot for failing to be the perfect father. We forget that dads are fallen men like all others. This message is designed to encourage dads and others in their daily walk.

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The kids wanted a hamster really bad. They pleaded with their mom, making all kind of promises. One promise was to care for the hamster. Finally, mom agreed and got them a hamster. They named him “Danny.”

Within two months, Mom had the responsibility of Danny’s care. Despite her encouragement, it seemed the kids had lost interest in the hamster. She decided it was time to find a new owner for Danny.

She called the kids together and told them of her decision. One child said nonchalantly, “I’ll miss him. He’s been around for a long time.” The other child pleaded, “Maybe he could stay if he ate less and wasn’t so messy.” But mom was firm. “It is time to find Danny a new home.”

Suddenly the kids began crying. “Danny?” they wailed. “We thought you said Daddy.”

Sometimes, as fathers, we feel that perhaps the family pet gets more attention than we do. If we are filling our role as dads, we sacrifice for them, we work to provide for them, we encourage them in their efforts, and we support them in their dreams. We discipline when necessary, even though it makes us “the bad guys.” Everything we do is based on love for our children.

When your kids are small, they believe that dad knows everything. When they hit the teenage years, dad is old fashioned, out of touch, and doesn’t understand. When they become parents, then dad becomes someone they can relate too. Then when dad is gone, they wish he were around because he knew everything.

When the kids are successful, they give mom the credit. Just ask any sports figure. When the camera is on them what do they say? “Hey mom.” But dads seem to catch the heat when the kid’s go bad. “Deadbeat dads.” Even in church services on Father’s Day, dads are usually filled with guilt afterwards for not living up to Biblical standards.

So today, I want to cut dads some slack. Listen guys. We are not perfect. We have flaws. We are fallen people who are impacted by the sinful world around us. We do the best we can but some maybe saying it’s not enough. While it is true we are to be more like God, our Heavenly Father, we will never be that perfect in fatherhood. So let’s cut ourselves some slack today.

An elderly man was sitting around the day before Father’s Day depressed and gloomy. His children had been gone for a number of years. They would occasionally call to check on their parents but seldom visited. When his wife asked him what was wrong he tearfully replied, “I feel I failed as a father. I tried to be a good father but I guess I wasn’t. I know I made mistakes but I really tried.”

Shaking her head she called her son in New York and said to him, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you I cannot take this anymore. I am leaving your father; 45 years of misery is enough. I‘m sick of his whining, and so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."

Frantic, the son called his sister, who exploded on the phone. "Like heck she‘s leaving him," she shouted, "I’ll take care of this."

She called Phoenix immediately, and said to her mother. "You are NOT leaving him. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?"

The mother hung up the phone and went to her husband. "Guess what honey. The kids just called. They’re coming to see you for Father’s Day and even paying for their flights."

Let’s read Romans 8:1 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”

We have all blown it as fathers. When my kids were small, I would lose my patience with them. I threw a screwdriver in the direction of my eldest son for not moving fast enough. I smacked my daughter’s leg for waking me up. I pulled my youngest son from the back seat of the car and punched him in the arm. (The way I remember it was I spanked him but he insists on the punch story.) I know all these things happened because my kids will not let me forget about them.

We mess up. We lose our cool with our kids. We say hurtful things to them in a moment of anger. When they fail at something, we may make them feel inadequate. If they are still small, you have an opportunity to change. You have a chance to be more like the Heavenly Father; forgiving, patient, kind. If they are adults, we may need to apologize in some areas that we failed. And forgive in the areas where our children failed us.

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