When I was about 10 years old I was at home and it was Christmas time. One of my favorite times of the year. We had ordered a pizza and my dad and I went to pick it up. We got in our pale blue Volkswagen bug and headed out. There were candles lit along side the road and Christmas lights blinking and we were listening to Christmas tunes on the radio. It took us forever because traffic was backed up but it didn’t matter cause we were just hanging out. Today when I sat down to write something about fathers, that is what came to my mind. I have some great memories, but that one sticks out to me today. It’s simple and so is what I’d like to say to fathers everywhere. When Bean and Bailey do Men’s Conferences we take with us this simple message: Be There.
Yep. That’s it. Be there. Be at as many games as you can. Be there to answer your kids questions. Be there to pray with them at night and tuck them in. Be there to teach them how to throw, catch, spike, kick or whatever else you can do with a ball. Be there to teach them how to drive. Be there to help with the homework until it gets to hard for you…..uhm, like up until 3rd grade math I guess. Be there to encourage them. Be there to discipline them. Be there to teach them what the scriptures say. Be there to help pick out clothes (even if it’s a dress). Be there in the kitchen cooking together. Be there celebrating the win, or the graduation, or the fact that they walked or talked or swam for the first time or finally sat through dinner without whining, or getting up, or passing gas. Do you get the point? BE THERE.
I understand that we need to work. I also am well acquainted with the fact that many of us have to travel for work. I also understand that we may have to miss a birthday or a ball game or a recital, etc. What I don’t understand is the laziness of choosing to work too much. That’s right, I said the laziness of working too much. Many men would prefer to work longer hours than have to put the time in training their children the correct way or stay out just a little longer so that dinner is ready when they get home instead of getting home to make cooking the dinner fun and involving everyone. You’re tired? Who cares? Let me tell you who cares. Nobody. I’m not saying you’re not legitimately tired and that occasionally you’ll need to rest instead of play with the kids or help your wife do whatever she wants you to help her with, but if it’s a habit, break it. There are some things men should break. Bad, lazy and selfish habits are one of them or is that three of them? Either way, let’s take responsibility. If you’re not gonna love and cherish and honor you’re wife, then be celibate and focus on working and witnessing. If you can’t make time for your kids, don’t have them cause they need their father. I’m not gonna get any dad of the year awards anytime soon but I’m certainly gonna try to honor God by the way I try to love my family and provide for them. Speaking of providing for them. You don’t need a lot of money to do that, I’d pretty much guarantee that your wife and kids would rather have you around more than they’d rather have a new toy. I could go on all day about this, but I won’t because you men understand what I’m saying already. I’ve struggled with my selfishness for years. I’m trying so hard to kill it. I got up this morning at 6:30am to run with my wife before she went to work (I hear you morning people thinking, “uhm that’s not that early”……but that’s a big deal for me because I’m a comedian sooo uhm, yeah I don’t generally like getting up early so give me some points here, lol) and then came home and did my Bible study and I’ve fed the kids breakfast and already yelled at them once and am planning the work day here at the house. That’s not because it’s what I wanted to do today, but I know I’ll be thankful that I did it because THE WAY I FEEL DOESN’T MATTER, ITS THE WAY I FAITH THAT MATTERS. Faith comes first, then hopefully the feelings follow. If they don’t, that’s fine too because I know doing what’s right gives me a peace I can’t find anywhere else, I’m pretty sure that’s the point of the caddyshack, meshack and that billy goat in Daniel chapter 3.
Let me just leave you guys with a few scriptures to meditate on today. Remember that God is THE FATHER and that HE IS LOVE. It’s our responsibility to not only love our wives and children and others but to understand how much our heavenly father loves us. Yes men, YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES YOU and
He wants you to love others, so let’s start there:
and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
(Now that we have a solid foundation)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. HE WHO LOVES HIS OWN WIFE LOVES HIMSELF; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
(Loving God comes first, then your wife, then your kids)
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
(training = hard work)
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
(teach them God’s word “diligently”)
Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
You’re either a son of the living God or you’re not. I pray you’ll know God as your Father and then strive to be like Him. Now purpose in your hearts to BE LIKE CHRIST and to BE THERE as much as you can. Now go enjoy that new tie you’re about to get for Father’s Day!