Being a good father goes back to Biblical times
Published 5:53 am Sunday, June 19, 2022
A pastor was preparing his sermon when his little daughter came in and said, “Daddy, can we play?”
He answered, “I’m awfully sorry, sweetheart, but I’m right in the middle of preparing my sermon. In about an hour I can play.”
She said, “Okay, when you’re finished, Daddy, I am going to give you a great big hug.”
He said, “Thank you very much.”
She went to the door and then she did a U-turn and came back and gave him a chiropractic, bone-breaking hug.
He said to her, “Darling, you said you were going to give me a hug after I finished.”
She answered, “Daddy, I just wanted you to know what you have to look forward to!”
As Father’s Day approaches, I sometimes find myself humming Harry Chapin’s song telling the story of a dad who just never was able to find the time for his son, realizing only too late that his opportunity had passed them both by.
“And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me, my boy was just like me, He’d grown up just like me. The cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon. When you coming home Dad? I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then Dad, you know we’ll have a good time then.”
Not long after Chapin’s song hit the charts, he began to wonder why he was not paying attention to what he was singing about.
He decided the following summer he was going to make some changes. He was going to cancel some engagements and slow down…that same summer he was killed in an automobile accident.
We are only granted a short time of influence and interaction with our children.
My boy and girl are grown adults, but for those who have this amazing gift before them today, may I encourage you to make the very best of this opportunity.
In Mark’s Gospel account, we meet Jairus, a synagogue official who came to Jesus with a desperate plea for his daughter, who was deathly ill.
Before they reached the house, a friend arrived with the sad news that Jairus’ daughter had died. But, at the climax of the familiar narrative, Jesus went to Jairus’ house anyway and healed the little girl, bringing her back to life with the words, “Little girl, arise.”
Kristine Steakley, a writer for Prison Fellowship reminds us that daughters were not valued in Jairus’ day and he was exposing himself to potential ridicule for going to so much trouble over one insignificant girl, but love for his daughter compelled him to take the risk.
What I want us to consider is what Jarius’ daughter would have noticed as she looked back at the actions of her daddy.
First, she saw that he was not ashamed to seek out Jesus. He did not send the wife or someone to take his place, but he as the father sought out the Lord himself.
Regardless his social position, regardless of the onlookers of the townspeople, Jarius’ humbly knelt before Jesus, pleading with him, “Please come, for my child is dying.”
Secondly, she saw that he was not ashamed to bring Christ into his home.
Patrick Henry, a revolutionary war general, a legislator, member of the Constitutional convention and governor of Virginia said, “This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed… being a Christian… is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast.”
Psalm 127 tells us, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”
Lastly, she saw that he was not ashamed to express his love to her.
What took him from his daughter’s side, to seek out a Jewish teacher, what compelled him to fall at Jesus feet and cry out “I beg you, please come,” what would cause a man to forget his place in society, and what others might think or say — He loved his daughter.
This love said “I do what I have to do, go where I have to go to see that you’re made whole.” We don’t know how long she lived but there was not a day that went by that this girl didn’t know “I’m alive today because of my daddy’s love for me.”
Fathers, don’t be ashamed to let your children see you seek the Lord.
Because of a lack of father figures in the home, in the past 30 years there has been a 550 percent increase in violent crime, 400 percent increase in illegitimate births, 200 percent increase in teen pregnancies, 300 percent increase in teen suicide, and more than 70 percent of juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes.
Fathering counts, so dads, know this — you are remarkably important.
We just can’t do without you! And it’s true, you have a lot to look forward to!
Happy Father’s Day!
Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.