And God looked down on all He had made and said, “I need a caretaker.”
So, God made a father.
God said, “I need someone to take children fishing and play catch in the backyard. It must be someone who is tough enough to run a chainsaw and wield a machete and yet, gentle enough to join his little girl and her dolls for tea.
I need someone to bring the car around when it’s raining, so everyone else can stay dry. Someone who will keep jumper cables in his truck, just in case he needs to help a stranger. I need someone to notice practical things, like how the tread on the tires is wearing and if the weather stripping around the front door needs replacing, for no one else will.
Yes, he will struggle to find his socks and keys. But I’ll help him find time for the important things, like tumbling with the kids in the den floor, or saying ‘I’m proud of you, son,’ or giving Mama a hug.
I need someone to provide for the family. Someone who will get up early and stay up late and never complain. I need someone who’s willing to make unpopular decisions and stand by them. Someone to provide authority and discipline, as well as love.
I need someone who listens more than he talks. Who will stand by his family through laughter and tears, tornadoes and snowstorms, good times and bad. Someone who will love his kids and love their mother even more.
I need someone who is willing to carve the Thanksgiving turkey, for no one else seems to want the job.
I need someone who is not afraid to go into Grandma’s dark cellar, or to check on what goes bump in the night, or to remove the dead mouse from the mousetrap. Someone who will yank a child back from the path of a speeding car and who will keep a wary eye on strangers.
I need someone with broad shoulders, broad enough to carry a little child around town and broad enough to pull more than his fair share.
I need someone who’s strong enough to open a tightly sealed jelly jar and someone who’s tall enough to place the angel on top of the Christmas tree. And yet, I need someone who is gracious enough to let his son fish the best fishing hole or to let his daughter win at least one hand of gin rummy.
Yes, I need someone who is willing to work the second-shift, or take second-best, or play second fiddle, so that his family can have it better than he did.
I need someone who is willing . . . willing to man up and provide the love, support and strength his family will so desperately need.”
So, God made a father.
He is the first hero a little child will ever know.
His influence lasts much longer than his life.
The Lord created fathers to be a living, breathing display of who He is: a protector, a provider and a leader. And while some earthly fathers fail, many strive to live out God’s plan for fatherhood, even though it’s a pretty tall order.
Consider all God asks fathers to do:
- Provide for their families (1 Tim. 5:8)
- Love sacrificially (Eph. 5:25-33)
- Teach their children about the Lord (Eph. 6:4)
- Encourage their children (Col. 3:21)
- Talk about God’s word, often (Deut. 6:6-9)
- Appreciate their children (Ps. 127:3-5)
- Guide their families in serving the Lord (Josh. 24:15)
- Set a good example (Prov. 20:7)
- Love their children enough to discipline them (Prov. 13:24; 19:18)
- Lead their families as Christ leads the church (Eph. 5:23)
Fathers are often unappreciated, but God highly values them.
Some consider fathers to be weak, but God designed it for the strong.
Fathers are often the butt of jokes, but God takes them seriously.
And so should we.
On Sunday, our nation will pause to honor our fathers. While our fathers aren’t perfect, they do deserve recognition for the good that they do and the love they give.
Many father children, but few are truly fathers.
So this Father’s Day, give a father who is close to you a hug and a heartfelt compliment. Make a call. Share a family meal. Send a card saying that you love him. Overlook your differences. Don’t let this opportunity go by without letting the fathers in your life know how much you appreciate them.
*Inspired by Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” speech.
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