Today’s challenges


Father’s day is here once again. How do I know? It’s the commercials! Everything you see or hear is telling you what is the best gift to buy for your father and frankly I’m a little tired of it. How is it that a day established to honor fathers has become a marketing ploy?

I don’t golf, don’t need a new car, I have all the after shave I can use and I don’t need another tie. Whatever happened to the simple things? The days when the kids made you breakfast in bed or gave you a handmade card? What about the simple hug around the neck and the best words in the world, “I love you dad”. It is the time spent together sharing a meal and talking about our lives, sharing what makes us happy or is breaking our hearts. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been given “things” through the years, but have very few of them now. The things that I have held on to are the cards and the hugs, those special words and special times together.

How did our society go from intimate relationships with the father to trying to imitate love through the giving of money or things? Back in the 1970’s there was a song by Harry Chapin that came out called, “Cat’s in the cradle”. The song dealt with the life of a father and son. The father was so busy making a living that he never had time for the son and when the son became an adult he never had time for the father… life got in the way of living.

Perhaps that’s what has happened with our relationship to our Heavenly Father. Most of the surveys I have seen show that church attendance in our nation has declined in the past 50 years. The same surveys show that many, many more mothers attend a church than do fathers (the example to young men). It seems that we are so busy trying to survive, trying to make a living, trying to enjoy life to the fullest, that we just don’t have time for our Heavenly Father anymore. We try to compensate for it by giving larger contributions so that someone else might be hired to fill our place.

The greatest commandment, according to Jesus is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37). If you don’t, how will your children learn to do it and how will they return it to you?

Another favorite passage of mine is found in Deuteronomy 11:18-22 where God gives some special instructions to fathers. He says: “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow, to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him…” It seems it is about relationships and actually TALKING about what is most important…

Can you say “priorities”? Perhaps that is the key! Oh and Happy Father’s Day!

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