If I had the opportunity to sit down with you over a cup of coffee, Dad, there are several things that I would love to tell you.
First of all you are very important in the life of each of your children.
How often do you see good fathers affirmed in popular culture?
Few portrayals of men in the media are positive.
You have been created by God to have a powerful influence on your wife and children.
Did you know, Dad, that you have more influence in the lives of your family than any other person walking on the face of this earth?
Do you and I take our responsibility seriously?
Men, if we use our influence wisely, we can lift up the lives of those in our sphere of influence higher than they could ever be without us in their lives.
We can make a huge difference by not only being there but by spending time with them and doing things together with them.
Fathers, you are very important for the healthy development of your children.
I read recently that a father’s presence in the lives of his children can yield significant, measurable benefits and his absence can create an equally measurable risk for harm.
There are many studies that bear this out.
I am looking at several in front of me but space will not allow that.
But I note that the difference a father can make is staggering – dad you are important!
Secondly I would encourage you to love your children and spend time with them.
Nothing can substitute for simply spending time with them and giving them your full attention.
I still remember the times I wrestled with my dad and also the times I wrestled and weight lifted with my son.
Forget the myth about quality time being more important. It is important that we spend quantity time.
“Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you need to do it again tomorrow” (Reed Markham).
If, for example, you went to a fine restaurant and ordered the best steak, you would be very surprised when the waitress brought you a large plate with a tiny piece of meat on it about a one-inch square.
You would certainly complain and you wouldn’t find the explanation very satisfying that; yes the portion was small but it is the “best beef” money could buy.
And if the server added, “I hope you understand that it’s not the quantity that matters, it’s the quality that counts,” would you nod your head in agreement? Of course not!
As you think of loving your children, remember that the best thing you can do for them to make them feel safe, secure and loved is to love their mother.
There are so many things we could talk about but let me conclude by reminding you from experience, that you and I need outside help.
We can’t do this on our own.
We need other good examples, we need encouragement from others but most of all we too need a relationship with the greatest father.
Yes, I am talking about our Heavenly Father.
I believe that dads who have a genuine and growing relationship with their Heavenly Father make better earthly fathers.
Dad, you are very important.
Please love your children and spend both quality and quantity time with them and don’t forget the most important relationship – with your Heavenly Father.
Henry Klassen is pastor of the Gospel Chapel in Grand Forks