Fathers – Listen, live, laugh, love

Published 6:07 pm Saturday, June 17, 2023

By Dean Kelly

Minister, Highland Home Church of Christ

The man sitting next to me on the flight had been home to visit his parents and family in India. He was a doctor.  He asked a question I got often, “You’re a preacher, aren’t you?” I always wondered if it was stamped on my forehead, or something.

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He went on to ask, “Can I talk to you for a minute?” I said that he certainly could. 

He began to tell me what was weighing on his heart and did so with increasing tears in his eyes. He said, “I have given my children everything I could. They have the best schooling available. We have a beautiful home for them. I have given them all the latest things that they might desire. But now they are teenagers and they resent me highly. I have discovered that I did not give them the one thing they actually wanted and needed; I didn’t give them me! And now it is too late!” 

He thought he was doing right for them, but he now saw only failure in what really mattered. We prayed for him and his children, and I tried to give him hope that maybe it wasn’t too late.

The Bible tells fathers to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Our children need us much more than they need things. We cannot “buy off” our responsibilities to them. I was not the perfect father. I could have yelled less and listened more, but I have learned some valuable lessons along the way.

So, on this Father’s Day, to you dads I say: LISTEN to your children; LIVE every moment of fatherhood as special; LAUGH with your children, enjoy them because the days are short that you have them; LOVE them with all your heart. They will sometimes break your heart, but it is still worth it!

Happy Father’s Day to all!