Summary: God has given Fathers good instruction. There are five principles for Fathers that are more important than ever in our lives today.

Recently I read a story about triplets, 3 young boys who got along pretty well. They saw everything alike. They were loyal to each other. If somebody got into trouble they wouldn’t tattle on each other. A neighbor asked the father, “How in the world do you know which one to punish if there is trouble?”

He said, “It’s easy. I just send all 3 to bed without their supper. And the next morning I spank the one with the black eye.”

I also read something about fatherhood that is true. When a child is 4 years old he says proudly, "My dad knows everything about everything." When he is 7 he says, "Dad knows almost everything about everything. When he is 12 he says, "Well, it’s only natural that Dad doesn’t know everything." When he is 14 he says, "Dad is old fashioned." When he is 21 he says, "Dad is hopelessly out of step with the times." When he is 25 he says, "Maybe Dad does know something about a few things." When he is 35 he says, "Maybe we ought to call Dad & check this out with him." When he is 50 he says, "I wonder what Dad would have thought of this?" And when he is 65 he says, "I sure wish I could talk to Dad again."

As we were approaching Father’s Day, I realized this is the first year of my life when I have not wished my Dad “Happy Father’s Day” in person. Little did I know a year ago when our family was together on Father’s Day, that it would be his last. But God did. There is a lesson there, don’t you agree?

Proverbs 4:1-14

So I’d like to pass along some Fatherly advice for this day. Five simple things that I believe if you would embrace them, your life will not only be richer, but transformed as well. I think these five principles are more important than ever in our lives today.

First: Spend time in prayer everyday, asking that God, through the power of the Holy Spirit would guard your hearts and mind, that He would give you Godly wisdom and understanding. Seek out a quiet place every day for prayer. Martin Luther once said “I have so much to do that I must spend the first three hours of each day in prayer.” I know the importance of calendars, datebooks, blackberries and other electronic devices that help keep us organized. At the beginning of each day, why don’t you write in an appointment with God? That is one appointment too important to reschedule. It will help you plan your day, put your priorities in order and guide you throughou

Second: Ask God to give you patience throughout the day. If there is a common denominator amongst men, unfortunately we are not always the most patient in the animal kingdom. We are in a hurry on the freeways, we run late for appointments, our schedules are oftentimes too full, and we sacrifice family time to fulfill our daily schedules. The world gives us plenty of opportunity to react quickly, to be sharp tongued, and to be absorbed by daily matters and challenges. Ask God to give you patience throughout your day. I have mentioned this before. Expect five situations every day that will require patience, five things throughout the day. Expect them to happen. And then, when your patience is challenged, it will merely meet your expectations, you won’t be surprised by them. At work, in your car, at home, on the telephone when something goes wrong, normal daily challenges, five daily situations you will expect to happen. Do you think Jesus was patient? We don’t have enough time to list all of the scripture references. I’m sure His disciples were challenging most every day. I’m sure the demand for His time was overwhelming. I’m sure He taught the same things to the same people over and over and over again. But He lived a Godly life of patience, as an example to us all.

Third: Ask God to give you a listening ear. We don’t need to always offer advice, and we really don’t need to fix anything. This is our nature though. What we truly should do is listen more. Do want to make new friends and strengthen the relationships you have with important people in your life. Listen more. Merely listen. Guide conversation, don’t grab it....”Yes, now take me for instance..” Validate the feelings of others. Try not to interrupt, try not to criticize, try not to argue, ask questions, listen actively.

The story is told of a new commander who was sent to an army fort on the American frontier. He soon was involved in a conference with an important Indian Chief. Working through a translator, he nervously asked the Chief a number of questions and was surprised when he received no reply. After the conference he asked the translator why he had received no reply. The translator replied, that’s what we call “Indian time.” He has enough respect for your questions to go away and think about them before answering them.” Maybe we need to practice more Indian time.

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