This past Sunday was Father’s Day with Pat Hood (pastor FBC Smyrna) speaking about fathers and their responsibility.  He related our responsibility to being like the pastor of our families, supported by Hebrews 13:7. 

We have all heard the phrase (verse) “Fathers, don’t provoke your child to anger…” (Eph 6:4) But have we ever thought about what that means?  Does the word ‘de-value’ have meaning to you?   When Pat defined this verse with the words ‘don’t devalue your child’ I thought I was in the clear.  I would never devalue my boys, sometimes I may make them mad because I won’t throw baseball with them or give them enough money to buy the new iphone, but never devalue.  My thoughts:  “hey, i’m good with that i can go on to the coffee shop and enjoy the morning.”  But I stayed…..

Well, Pat continued, in 1950 only 7% of US homes had ‘absent’ Dads.  In 2005 over 40% of US homes have absent Dads, and the number is still growing.  Again I felt that I was in the clear, I’m live in the same house as my family.  But I stayed….

He defined absent, not for the stats, but for emotion and relationship as well.  “While you may be living in the same house and not consider yourself absent, there may be the “emotional distant” Dad who is really absent,” Pat said.  Okay, maybe sometimes when work or life gets tough, but I think I am good.  So I stayed…

“What about the “too demanding” Dad?  The one who had a hard life, maybe a bad relationship with his Dad, and puts unreal pressure on the child?” Pat asked.  Again, I think I keep this in check with my wife’s help.  J

And then Pat quit preaching went to meddling as Momma says. “What about the Dad with too high expectations?”  Ouch….how do the boys feel about that one?  I began to chase statements and thoughts in my mind.  I began to recall the last baseball games the boys played.  What was the look on their face following my yelling (sometimes called coaching) and instruction on how to NOT make that error, again.  I recalled the conversations when grades were not what I thought they should be.  I remembered the words and faces of the guys when they completed a chore at home, NOT to my approval. 

I sat there wishing I had gone to the coffee shop earlier and not had to have these mental pictures.  I felt embarrassed because the next statements from Pat were about God’s unconditional love toward us ‘ole’ Dads who many times don’t get it right.  Through this unconditional love is how God sees us, sees our errors, sees our grades and sees our chores.  What a great example to follow for each of us as Fathers.  And you know what, I am very fortunate to have lived a life with just such a Father (and Mother) who loved and love me unconditionally. 


Thanks Dad for the example, may I become more like you.

Want to hear/watch the sermon?  Click