Fathers, Give Yourself to the Lord, Then to Your Family

A Father's Day Reflection

by Jim Richards June 21, 2015

I’m grateful to God for the blessing my dad was to me. My dad has been in heaven for more than 20 years. It seems I think of him more now than I did in the first few years after his passing. Dad was a gregarious man. He loved people. There was nothing he enjoyed more than to visit with others. He didn’t have to know you to engage in conversation. He would easily approach anyone making them feel at ease. He was a charmer.

As a child I had severe health issues. My dad worked two and sometimes three jobs to pay the bills. Dad’s main job was with the City of Monroe, Louisiana. (Yes, it is across the river from the Duck Dynasty folks.) Dad started on the back of a firetruck. He became the city’s arson investigator and ended his 33-year career as assistant to the chief. He was a licensed funeral director.; he sold insurance; he started a security service in the 1960s when almost no one had that idea. After retirement from the City of Monroe he served as chief civil deputy for the Richland Parish Sheriff’s Department. He died while employed as chief of security at St. Francis Medical Center.

While I was growing up, dad would take off work to attend my baseball games. He sat with me in church. We fished together. His investment in my life was largely unnoticed until years later. When I reflect on what he had done in loving me, I’m ashamed I didn’t tell him more often how much I loved him.

After I was saved and called to preach, dad provided funds to assist me in a church start. June and I planted a church among a largely unreached people group. He and Mom made a long trip once a month to encourage us. Later, Dad answered a call to be a bi-vocational music director. He supported his pastor. He witnessed to the lost. He lived a life that honored the Lord. When dad’s funeral service was held, the building overflowed as people stood in the foyer. I’m grateful for his love for Jesus. Because of Jesus, I will see him again.

Some of you did not have that type of dad. I know I was greatly blessed. If you didn’t have that type of dad, you can be that type of dad. It starts with a relationship with Jesus. After giving yourself to the Lord, then it is time to give yourself to your family (2 Corinthians 8:5). Being the biblical husband means you are the spiritual leader in your home. It is not up to the wife to set the spiritual atmosphere in the home. Prayer and Bible study are a foundational element in marriage. It is difficult to navigate the waters of life. Doing so without God’s GPS, the Bible, often leaves people on the rocks.

Children need to see a dad involved in every aspect of their lives (Ephesians 6:4). Attending ballgames, going to birthday parties, taking them on mission trips, basically living life with your children will let them see you love them. By the way, tell them you love them. Verbal reassurance is vital. If you are not a biological dad, you can practice Ephesians 6:4 in someone’s life who needs it.

There was a time when obeying my parents ended. There will never be a time on this earth when honoring my parents will end. Give honor to the Heavenly Father by living out his Word.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!