Today is Father’s Day and the Sunday newspaper is awash in articles about fathers. One that caught my eye was by children of famous fathers listing the things they had learned from their dads and their most meaningful advice. Reading the words of wisdom these children remembered and the ways they had tried to apply them was fascinating, but I kept thinking about all the millions of fathers and children who had no such memories.
My own father was self-employed. He spent long hours earning a living for his family, then came home and did all the repairs and maintenance around our house. He was 48 when I was born and had little spare energy for amusing a small child. When I think of my dad I see him hard at work, usually joking and laughing with anyone around. He was a cheerful, hard working, honest man who loved his family. He rose at 5 every morning in order to have time to read his Bible before heading to the feed and farm supply store he owned and ran by himself.
While Dad’s advice was lived more often than spoken, I do remember how he instructed my older sisters and me to treat customers and make change when we were old enough to help out in the family business. He wanted us to always be courteous, honest and cheerful, doing our best at whatever job came to hand.
There are many people who grew up without a father, or with one whose example or advice was unhelpful or downright harmful. These children, of whatever age, must lean especially hard on their heavenly father for both example and advice.
Since none of us had a perfect earthly father, learning everything we can about our Father in Heaven can make all the difference as we go through life.
What a blessing to know that while we are influenced by them we aren’t bound by the limitations or mistakes of our parents.
We mustn’t make the error of thinking that God is like the father that raised us. No matter how wonderful your daddy is or was, God is infinitely more wonderful. No matter if your dad may have failed to meet your needs or expectations, you can be assured that God never fails.
Happy Father’s Day to us all.