Summary: A young father to be was pacing back and forth, wringing his hands in the hospital corridor while his wife was in labor. He was tied up in knots of fear and anxiety...and beads of perspiration dropping from his brow revealed the agony of his suffering.
A young father to be was pacing back and forth, wringing his hands in the hospital corridor while his wife was in labor. He was tied up in knots of fear and anxiety...and beads of perspiration dropping from his brow revealed the agony of his suffering.
Finally, at 4:00 a.m. a nurse popped out of a door and said, "Well, sir, you have a little girl." He dropped his hands, became limp, and said, "Oh how I thank God its a girl. She'll never have to go through the awful agony I've had to go through tonight."
It's tough being a father...and in honor of this special day I want to speak to those who are blessed with such a great privilege. But, as you might expect...I want to look at things from a different perspective.
Actually, I want to address not just fathers, but men in general. And even though this is a day when father's usually receive a gift of some kind...I want to speak about a gift father's should give ... a very precious gift...a gift for their children...but mostly for themselves.
It is very difficult being a man in the 1990's. And the reason I think it is so difficult is because of the way men were raised in generations past. Face it...the days of Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best are gone. Men go places...do things...dress, act and think in ways they never would have when I was a kid.
40 years ago, when I was just a toddler, its not likely that you'd have seen many men with long hair tied in a pony tail, wearing an earring. And that is not some sissy I'm referring to...Steven Segal is rated as one of the top action heroes today. And don't get me wrong...I'm not coming down against any of these things. My point is this...times have changed.
Men today are different in many ways. And we could all make quite a list of the changes that have taken place over the past few generations. And there are many positive changes that have come about in men. But in spite of many positive changes...there are some things about men that change very little.
It has been said that almost any man can father a child...but only special ones can be a dad. And I want to say this morning that dads are special people. I've had many heroes over the years...The Lone Ranger...Superman...John Wayne, just to name a few. But my first hero was my dad.
When I faced difficult times as a youngster, none of my other heroes could help me...but dad was always there. He couldn't leap tall buildings with a single bound...or shoot 37 shots from a 6 shooter without reloading...but he was always there...always caring. And I know some of you could spend hours sharing wonderful things about your fathers.
And yet, there is something that was so common with that generation of men that for the most part has been handed down throughout many generations...right down to ours today... something that I think is the greatest disservice done to the men of this and future generations.
They were taught that men never show tender affection...or emotion...or anything that would be interpreted as weakness. Men must be strong...proud...tough! I was raised in a generation that seldom saw men show affection with their wives. I remember seeing my dad give mom a peck on the cheek when he left the house...but I never heard him say to her, "I love you."
I never saw them hold hands in public. I never remember seeing flowers or a gift without it being a birthday or Christmas. But more importantly, I never heard him talk about things that went beyond surface things...like bills , or the weather, or the latest crisis in the news.
I never saw my dad share his hurts and fears...or just share his feelings about life, and family...and God. And its not that he was a cold, hard creature with no feelings. My dad is a sensitive, caring man who is no different in most ways that any of us. He just never was taught the need for intimacy in relationships.
Todays men have come quite a ways since then...but yet in things that matter the most, very little has changed for the average household. I've come to believe that one of the most important things that a man can give to his child is the godly example of intimate relationships.
And of course, first and foremost would be a personal, intimate relationship with God. And the reason a relationship with God is so important is because that is what sets the stage for other successful relationships. And other intimate relationships are also very important.