Summary: Fathers’ Day message. What’s the role of a godly dad?

There’s a difference between Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day.

The difference is more than just a difference in whom we give tribute to, but also a big difference in how we approach those two days and what we do on those days.

*ILL>Bill Cosby has offered us his theory on why Mothers’ Day seems to be a much bigger deal when it comes to celebrating it. He insists the Mothers’ Day is a much bigger deal because mothers are more organized. "Mothers," he says, "say to their children, ’Now here is a list of what I want. Go and get the money from your father and then surprise me on Mothers’ Day with these items as gifts.’ In contrast," he explains, "for Fathers’ Day I give each of my five kids $20 each so that they can go out and buy me a present--a total of $100. They go to the store and buy two packages of underwear, each of which costs a total of $5 and contain three pairs of shorts. They tear them open and each kid wraps one pair, giving the sixth pair of shorts to the Salvation Army. Therefore, on Fathers’ Day I am walking around in new underwear and my kids are walking around with $90 worth of my money in their pockets."

But there’s also a difference between a father and a dad.

Most guys can become fathers, if the circumstances are right, but only the BEST become dads.

You see, dads provide more to a child than just an X chromosome and a last name.

*ILL>Erma Bombeck explains the difference this way: "I received a letter from a single mother who had raised a son who was about to become a dad. Since he had no recollection of his own father, her question to me was: ’What do I tell him a father does?’" Erma goes on, saying, "When my own died in my ninth year, I too was raised by my mother, giving rise to the same question, ’What do fathers do?’ As far as I could observe, they brought around the car when it rained so everyone else could stay dry; they always took the family pictures, which is why they were never in them; they carved turkeys on Thanksgiving, kept the car gassed up, weren’t afraid to go into the basement, mowed the lawn, and tightened the clothesline to keep it from sagging. But it wasn’t until my husband and I had children of our own that I was able to observe firsthand what a father can contribute to a child’s life. What did my husband do to deserve my children’s respect? He rarely fed them, rarely did anything about their sagging diapers, seldom if ever wiped their noses or fannies, though he did on a few occasions play ball with them and bond with them under the hoods of their cars. What he did do?...He threw them higher than his head until they were weak from laughter. He cast the deciding vote on the puppy debate. He listened more than he talked. He let them make mistakes. He allowed them to fall from their first two-wheeler without having a heart attack. He read a newspaper while they were trying to parallel park a car for the first time in preparation for their driving test. So, if I had to tell someone’s son what a father really does that’s important, it would be that he shows up for the job in good times and in bad times. He’s a man who is constantly being observed by his children. They learn from him how to handle adversity, anger, disappointment and success. He won’t laugh at their dreams no matter how impossible they might seem. He will dig out at one in the morning if one of his children runs out of gas. He will make unpopular decisions and stand by them. When he is wrong and makes a mistake, he will admit it. He sets the tone for how family members treat one another, how they treat members of the opposite sex, and how they treat people who are different than they are. By example, he can instill a desire to give something back to the community when its needs are greater than theirs. But mostly, a good father involves himself in his kids’ lives. The more responsibility he has for a child, the harder it is to walk out of his life. A father has the potential to be a powerful force in the life of a child. Grab it! Maybe you’ll even get a greeting card for your efforts. Maybe not. But it’s steady work."

I invite you to open a Bible and turn to Ephesians, chapter six.

Our focus today is one what a godly dad does that differentiates him from being merely a father, and then how we should treat our own fathers.

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