1 Corinthians 16:13 – “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.” NASU
Many years ago, as Father’s Day was approaching someone in the church gave me a poem and suggested I incorporate it in my Father’s Day sermon. When they told me, it was a Father’s Day poem I was interested. I have never complained about the attention given to mothers, you cannot give them too much. However, I have lamented over the lack of appreciation and attention given to the fathers. Maybe, we fathers have brought that on ourselves and maybe it is a cultural failure from eons past. No matter, it is, in my view, tragic.
God is our Father and He is the picture of perfect fatherhood. My own earthly father wanted little attention. In his upbringing, he was taught, as were most men of his era, that men were unemotional and towers of strength. They expected and tolerated no flowering words directed at them but sought to provide for their families the best they could. They expected little in return in the way of praise. No, not all, but most were brought up with that mentality.
The result of that has been that we honor our mothers, but our fathers become somewhat of an afterthought. In the more modern era, the absence of fathers from the home has exacerbated the problem of lack of respect or the lack of demonstrated respect. Our mother taught us to honor or dad and refused to allow all the attention to be directed to her. She appreciated every expression and gift she received and would tirelessly seek to ensure that everyone was taken care of. She would sacrifice her own needs and desires to address the desires of her husband and children.
Our Dad, although not outwardly emotional or verbally expressive in his love, he loved us, and we knew it. He would have died for us and in some ways did. He was sacrificial in different ways than mother, but his personal sacrifice for us was not unnoticed. I have a personal testimony that attests to that reality.
I was born in Pasadena, Texas. My Dad worked for Good Year Rubber, the best job he held in his entire life. During my first two years of life, the doctors were perplexed as to what was wrong with me physically and did not believe I would ever see my teen years. My parents made weekly trips to the doctor’s office and test after test was run, at an expense, I still cannot calculate. My mother was, from all indications, so traumatized by the prospect of losing her 2nd son to disease it affected many things. My Dad, from all accounts, I have had related to me, was also troubled but buried it inside.
One summer, my grandparents, who lived in East Texas, had a need and mother took me and my sister to stay a couple of weeks with them as she tended to their needs. In that time frame, she and my dad noticed an improvement in my health. Dad went to the doctor and asked if it was possible that the atmosphere in the Pasadena area was doing me harm. He inquired if the doctor thought moving me to East Texas would help my condition. The doctor could only answer, “Possibly.”
My Dad, sent mother, me and my sister back to my grandparents for a month. He and my older brother, who was in school, stayed behind. In that month, I got significantly better. My Dad, an incredibly loving and sacrificial father, gave notice at Good Year and moved the family to East Texas and in a few months, I was well. His love for me and his confidence that the family would survive inspired him to take an action that, over the years proved to be an enormous sacrifice financially. Love is powerful, and my earthly father was a loving and powerful man.
Here is the poem I was given and it inspired me to write my own. I will post it then both of them in a separate post so you can see the contrast.
“Dad, dad, dad, the dear old worthless geezer;
The fusses I have had with that old patience teaser!
He lacks the spirit of a mouse, most anyone can down him;
We let him hang around the house;
It’s cheaper than to drown him.”
That my friends is utterly disgusting! God bless and Happy Father’s Day!