Summary: we have a responsibility to make sure that our children have what they need, & also to make sure they appreciate those things, & are ready & willing to go out & work for them when their turn comes. (Powerpoints Available - #107)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #107.)
Today we're celebrating "Father's Day." Some years ago I read an interesting story entitled, "The Day That God Created Fathers." It goes like this:
ILL. On the day that God created fathers an angel of the Lord stood in the background & watched. "Lord," the angel asked, "are you sure you know what you are doing? If children are so close to the ground, why are you making fathers so high up?"
"After all, they will have to kneel down if they ever shoot marbles with their children. They'll have to lean way over to tuck them into bed at night, & they'll have to bend so far down to kiss them."
The Heavenly Father said, "Don't worry, I know exactly what I'm doing. If I didn't make fathers so high, what would children have to look up to?"
Then the Lord made the hands of a father. They were big & sinewy & awkward. The angel asked, "Have you really thought this through? Those fingers are so big & clumsy. How will they be able to handle the pins of a diaper or unbutton a little button? They will never be able to take a rubber band off of a ponytail, or remove a splinter from a finger."
God replied, "Relax. They'll be just fine. They're big enough to hold all the things that a young boy takes out of his pocket at the end of the day, & they're large enough to cup the face of a child."
God continued on & He made the legs of a father long & bony & hairy & not very attractive. And then He made broad shoulders.
The angel asked, "Lord, do you realize what you have done? You have just made a father without a lap. How is he ever going to be able to hold a child close to him without that child slipping through his legs?"
God answered, "Mothers need laps, fathers need broad shoulders so that they can pull a sled in the wintertime & balance a bicycle in the summertime, & cradle the sleeping head of a child on the way home from church."
Then, just as God was in the middle of creating two of the biggest feet that you have ever seen, the angel said, "That's not right. Do you really believe those two big feet are going to get up in the middle of the night & respond to a crying child?"
God answered, "They'll work, you'll see. They are big enough to support a father who is pretending to be a horse while his child is riding to an imaginary castle. They're big enough to wear shoes that will be a challenge for any child to fill."
Then God gave the father a voice, strong & authoritative. He gave him eyes that could see everything & yet remain calm & in control. Last of all, God gave the father tears. Then He turned to the angel & asked, "Do you still doubt?" And the angel said no more.
ILL. John Dresser wrote a book titled, "If I Could Do It All Again." In it he shares 8 things that he would do differently if he could go through his years of being a father all over again. Here is what he wrote:
1. "First of all, if I could do it all over again, I would love my wife more, because by loving my children's mother more, I would create an environment of security in our home. Our love would be something they could see something they would never have to worry about."
2. "Second, I would laugh more. I would relax & enjoy my children & laugh at their antics. I would spend more time with them & enjoy being a father."
3. "Third, I would present a more realistic model for my children to follow. I would be honest with them about myself. I would let them know that I had problems in school, too, that I stumbled, & made mistakes, & failed.
"I would let them know that I understand, & that they can come to me when they fail, because I have been there as well."
4. "Fourth, I would listen to what they say. I would listen to their pains & problems & worries & concerns. I would listen when they wanted to talk to me, because now I realize that if I listen to them when they are small, & to their little problems, then when they are big, & have big problems, they will still come & talk with me."
5. "Fifth, I would stop praying so much for my family because a father's prayers so often sound something like this, 'God, make my son & daughter good people. Help them to succeed in school. Help them to find the right person to marry. Take care of & protect them.'