Summary: Father's Day Message to encourage fathers to be great husbands and have an encouraging relationship with their children.

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How To Become A Great Father

On what day are the most telephone calls made? On Mother’s Day! On Father’s Day there are the most collect calls.

Gordon Dalbey, author of “Healing of the Masculine Soul,” tells of a Catholic Nun working in a prison. She was asked by a prisoner to get him a Mother’s Day card for his mother. She did, and the word traveled like wildfire around the prison. Deluged with requests, she called Hallmark, and the company donated huge boxes of Mother’s Day cards. The warden arranges for each inmate to draw a number, and they stood in line to get a card.

When Father’s Day came around, the prison Warden prepared with hundreds of cards on hand, but there just a few requests for Father’s Day cards. Studies have shown that many men who get into trouble with the law had an unhealthy relationship with their father.

Here’s a survey of elementary children was conducted several years ago, which indicated the ten most appreciated qualities for Dads:

1. He takes time for me.

2. He listens to me.

3. He plays with me.

4. He invites me to go places with him.

5. He lets me help him.

6. He treats my mother well.

7. He lets me say what I think.

8. He’s nice to my friends.

9. He only punishes me when I deserve it.

10. He isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong.

The Apostle Paul gives helpful instructions to Christians that apply to everyone and especially to fathers.

I Corinthians 16:13-14: “Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. And everything you do must be done in love.”

I want to share with you some suggestions on how to become a “Fabulous Father.” These suggestions are helpful for any parent, but this morning I want to direct the suggestions to fathers.

1. Great Fathers Make Family Relationships a Priority

I Timothy 5:8 “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

Mike Holmgren who was the offensive coordinator for San Francisco 49ers for six seasons. Mike is an example of putting the family ahead of his own vocation. Mike’s coaching helped the 49ers to win back-to-back Super Bowl Championships. Mike is a professional coach that unashamedly admits to being a committed Christian.

In 1991 several NFL teams approached Mike. They asked him to become their head coach. He and his wife prayed about the opportunities, but decided not to accept the job offers. Why? Because his twin daughters were in their senior year of high school. It was a great job opportunity for Mike to advance professionally, but it didn’t seem far to his daughters.

The news media of that day said he was an overzealous family man and a fool not to take advantage of the offers. Mike said his life verse guided him: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

The following year after his daughters graduated the Green Bay Packers hired him in 1992. Holmgren is currently serving as president of the Cleveland Browns Football team. Coach Mike is an example of making your family relationships a priority.

Ephesians 6:4 gives this counsel: "Fathers, do not exasperate your children. Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Fabulous fathers do not have confused priorities. They don’t put their work ahead of their family. They know that except for almighty God, the wife and the kids come first!

One young father was talking to his pastor and said, “I wish I knew what God wanted me to do. I’m willing to do anything. I just don’t know what it is yet.” The pastor said to him, "How many kids do you have?" And he said, "Three." The pastor said, "Well, that’s a ministry right there! You got your own portable youth group!" You know what Psalm 127:3 says? It says, "Children are a reward from God!" One of the greatest things a man can do is to raise up the next generation of young people for Jesus Christ.

I read a story about a Christian attorney. He was talking about the influence of his father on his life. He said that "The greatest gift my dad ever gave me was when I was a little boy. It was a small box. Inside the box was a note saying, "Son, this year I will give you 365 hours, an hour every day after supper. It’s all yours. We’ll talk about what you want to talk about. We’ll go where you want to go. Play what you want to play. It will be your hour." "My dad not only kept his promise," the lawyer said, "but every year he renewed it. It is the greatest gift I ever had in my life. And I am the Christian man I am today because of my dad."

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