The evangelist Billy Sunday was quoted to say, “Give a child a good mother, and any old stick will do for a father.”
Happy Father’s Day, right?
Mr. Sunday was certainly attempting to emphasize the significance and impact made by a good mother. But he overstated his point. Studies continue to show the good things that happen in the lives of children with fathers who are there and fathers who care. And quite frankly, I don’t need the studies to show me that. I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box, but I know that a good dad matters.
Sunday is Father’s Day, and I know that one of the first things I will do as soon as church is over will be to call my dad. That in itself will not make the day special, because I speak to him every day.
But it will be special because it gives me an occasion to tell him how grateful I am for all that he has done for me through the years. He taught me how to throw, catch and hit a baseball. He taught me how to dribble, shoot and pass a basketball. He taught me how to tie on a fish hook. He taught me how to drive a car. For all of those lessons, I was and remain grateful.
But he taught me so much more than those things, important though they were. He also taught me how to pray. He taught me how to memorize Scripture. And he taught me how to be a man of my word. He taught me the value of hard work. He taught me how to love my wife. Where I have failed in any of those endeavors, it has been because I have not listened or have ignored what I was taught.
You probably have come to the conclusion by now that I love my dad, and that I admire him deeply. And I do. But I am aware that my dad is not a perfect man. He has disappointed me a couple of times. But even in that, he continually reminded me that there is a perfect heavenly father who will never disappoint me. He has pointed me to the one who can teach me, not only about things in this world, but how to have eternal life. He could have given me no better teaching than that.
My dad made many sacrifices for my sister and me while we were growing up. But my heavenly father gave me the perfect sacrifice, his son. I am grateful for my dad. The thought of losing him crushes me. But I know this: Because of all he has taught me, and my acceptance of it, I will actually live forever with him, and with our heavenly father.
I pray that you will know the perfect father, too. He really is all that we need.