Tomorrow is Father’s Day. We all know that it is not quite the same event that Mother’s Day is, and that is fine. We all know the value of a godly mother.
But we need to be careful that we not overstate it. Billy Sunday, the great baseball player turned evangelist, was purported to say, “Give a child a good mother and any old stick will do for a father.”
Really? If he truly said that, I would have to disagree. In fact, a strong argument could be made that much of the mess that we find in our society has resulted from a lack of good fathers.
The Bible tells us that God is our father. For many of us, that is a wonderful image. My dad was far from perfect, but he has been a good role model for me all of my life. To this day, before I make certain significant decisions, I seek his advice.
Yes, I am 53 years old, but I still know that he has reservoirs of wisdom that I do not yet have, and I want to know his opinion.
The most important thing that my dad ever did for me was to take me to church each week. It was our routine every Sunday morning to have a good breakfast together and then go to Sunday school and church as a family.
Before my sister and I went to the car, there was a checklist. Do you have your Bible? Do you have your Sunday school book? Do you have your offering envelope? Are you wearing socks? (That was only for me)
The pictures I keep in my mind are of my dad singing in the choir, teaching Sunday school and serving as deacon and treasurer of our church at various times. I remember often delivering boxes or baskets of fresh vegetables to the pastor’s home.
And I remember the day when I announced that God was calling me to be a pastor. His words to me were simple: “I would not have chosen this for you, but I will support you every step of the way.” And he has done just that.
I also remember his words to me on the day I was ordained. As a deacon, he took part in the service, and when knelt over me to pray he spoke first to me, “Make the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 the guiding principles of your life.”
I had to look up the verses, but I know them now by heart. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” That’s the best advice he ever gave.
And it’s the best advice I can give you. God is our heavenly father. He loves us more than we can say. We must trust in him. He is our only hope.