It is just a few hours until another "Father's Day" will be upon us. A happy day for many; yet a sad day for others. I have been blessed to be able to celebrate 43 "Father's Days" with my dad, Eldie Ferrell. I have also been blessed to be the recipient of well wishes for 20 years this year as a father.
Fatherhood is much more of a responsibility than just being the biological person that was involved at one point. Fatherhood should follow the commands and guidance of our Heavenly Father in His word.
God tells us fathers to "bring our children up in the nurture and admonition of The Lord." What does this really mean though? Well, personally, I think it means that I only half got it right. My girls are both Christians. They don't forsake the assemblies. They know several Bible verses. And, they live their lives very pure. I am proud of that.
Where have I failed as a father? Well, I have my own weaknesses there. I have spent much of my kids' lives working very late hours, working out of town often, neglecting some of their peak childhood moments, shamedly living their lives through pictures. I wasn't there to pray with them. I wasn't there to read the Bible with them. I didn't even attend Bible study with them sometimes.
So, why do I mention this? Simple really. We can't "make up" for lost time at a later date. We can't buy something that will take the place of lost time. We can't go back and do it again...but, God has given me opportunity to still be with these young ladies thankfully long enough for me to get some of it right now! I can't apologize enough to my girls and my God for only half getting it right. I can, however, commit to them that I will be their guide, their strength, their friend, and their father...
I am sadly reminded at times how much I take for granted having my father, and being a father in my life. You see, my dad grew up without his father. He was killed in an accident when my dad was 4. I am named after him, and I hope I am being at least part of the father to my girls that he would have been to my dad.
I am also mindful of my wife. She too lost her father at an early age. She was 6 when her daddy died. I never got to meet the man that I wanted so much to look up to. I hope that I am raising his grandchildren the way he would have raised my wife, and I hope I am living up to the standards he would have placed on his son-in-law.
I will soon be both "giving away" and meeting my daughter and son-in-law to be with the power of the word of God celebrating their union and commitment to God and to each other in marriage. I won't be giving up my role as "daddy," but I will be handing off part of the responsibility to continue for my daughter to grow up in the nurture and admonition of The Lord, to a young man...who happens to be a great dad himself.
Happy Father's Day to my dad...and all those dads that raise their children the way God intended. Thank you for all you do.