I will not get to see my dad on Father’s Day. Yes, he is still very much alive, and reasonably close in proximity. No guarantees, but the chances are great that we will not get to see each other today. You see, my dad does what I do on Sundays—we preach.
Have you ever thought about the amount of people you know whose sons have followed their dads in their choice of careers? Firemen often have sons who follow them into firefighting. Policemen, doctors, butchers, lumberjacks, and dogcatchers often see their sons and their daughters follow in their footsteps. Why do you suppose kids decide to follow their parents into their chosen fields of expertise? Perhaps there are several different reasons, but one thing they would all have in common is the power of influence.
My mind goes back to the evening when Nicodemus came to Jesus and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” (John 3:2 ESV) There was just something about what He said and what He did that caused people to draw near to Him and even want to be like Him. It was His humility, His compassion, His purity and kindness, to name a few of His many attributes, that caused people to want to be better, and to follow after Him. Peter said it this way, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21 ESV). He is saying that everything He did just seems to cry out, You Can Do This! Follow Me!
This writer has no knowledge of any greater comparison to the pull Jesus has on men of the world to be like Him than fathers. The thing is, what draws so many kids to want to be like their dad compares in many ways to what draws the world to Jesus. If you are passionate about your chosen career, if you show a consistent dedication to your field of expertise, and if you demonstrate that your work ethic is a part of what makes you who you are, then you have the greatest chance of your child following your career.
Imagine what kind of influence you might bestow upon your children if you had the same or maybe more sense of involvement in your faith than you do your work. What if they saw in you a similar kind of love for the church that you have for your job? What if your kids saw in you that church attendance was but the beginning of your commitment to Christ and not the extent of your service? Most of us tend to be workaholics. If you lean in that direction, then imagine how influenced for good your children would be if you placed an equal or greater significance on your spiritual commitment. If you did, then do you suppose your kids would have a greater influence to serve Christ by your example? Sure, they would!
I guess you could say that I was pretty blessed because my father’s work has always been church work. Besides it being his source of income, my earliest memories have been that my dad lived and breathed the Lord’s work. It was—and is—his life! Besides my own faith in Christ, I would have to say that my dad’s commitment has helped me be a better Christian.
Perhaps you might be reading this and thinking that your father was not the best example to follow. You know, I can say the same thing about my dad’s father when he was growing up. His dad did not always do right while he was growing up. In fact, you might say that my dad’s faith became strong in spite of his father’s leadership. In later life, his dad did do great things for Christ, and my whole family is glad of that. But, the fact that my dad had to “pick himself up by his bootstraps,” so to speak, and do God’s will no matter what, is what has compelled me more to be better, to work harder, and to serve the Lord with all my heart.
So you see, it really does not matter what experiences you have had to make a difference. You can start right now, or involve yourself more fully into the work of the Lord, so your kids will someday say, I want to serve Christ, just like my dear old dad!
If you can, reach out to your dad today and say, Happy Father’s Day!