A GLAD DAD
Dr. Kris A. Jackson
Here’s the Kris Jackson Version (KJV) – “A wise son makes a glad Dad but a foolish son gives his Mama trauma”. Father’s Day is never as special a day as Mother’s Day and rightly so. A Dad going “to” labor is not as tough as a Mom going “into” labor, even though fathers have to go to work till retirement and beyond. But Dads do deserve at least one day a year for fishing or a round of golf, so here’s one for you men. Are some commandments more serious than others? Most would consider “thou shalt not kill” or “thou shalt not bear false witness” as greater offences than failing to “remember the Sabbath” or to “honor thy father and mother that it may be well with thee” but under Mosaic Law the penalty was the same for all. The “stubborn and rebellious son” that refused to listen to his parents had a rock concert thrown in his honor. The community elders stoned him outside the city gate (Deut 21:18-21). Perhaps that would curtail young prodigal sons from going to the far country to get stoned.
There are some steps kids can take to create a Glad Dad: 1. Brag on him occasionally – Jesus said, “I honor my Father” (John 8:49), words that echoed in, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. 2. Show some respect – “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head…” (Lev 19:32) Try standing up when your father comes to the table at Chili’s this Father’s Day and see what kind of looks you get. He’ll feel like a king. More boys rise up in rebellion than in humble respect. 3. Be true to his face – “…and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God…” (Lev 19:32b) Don’t efface or deface your family name. Talk good to the “old man”, as Moses referred to him, to his face and also behind his back. The rest of the verse indicates that when you honor the old man you show that you “fear thy God”. An earthly father is the family’s representative of the heavenly Father. Respect to an earthly father becomes respect for the heavenly Father. 4. Listen to his instruction – “My son, hear the instruction of thy father…” (Prov 1:8) Father Knows Best is a truth, not just an old television series. His experience is free education for the next generation. No need making mistakes he has already made for you. A lot of time and heartache can be saved if a young person will clean out the earwax and listen. 5. Value the family jewels – “He that wastes his father…brings reproach” (Prov 19:26). The prodigal son squandered his dad’s life savings. Honor dad by honoring the things he has accumulated. When you borrow Dad’s lawn mower be quick to return it (with a full tank of gas). 6. Don’t be bitter over the past – “He who curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness” (Prov 20:20). Fathers are not to provoke their children to anger lest they be discouraged (Col 3:21) but a child that provokes too easily probably needs some godly provoking of his own. Children are like canoes, they steer easiest when paddled from behind! 7. Make the call – “E.T., phone home!” The greatest day in Jacob’s life was when he got to see Joseph one last time before he died. Are you going to still be carrying that grudge when attending his funeral? The last sign to be fulfilled before the Lord returns is a prophetic Elijah-movement that will “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Mal 4:6).
Parents mess up kids’ lives – get used to it. We all inherited a degree of dis functionality from Great-grandpa Adam. Your Dad doesn’t care if you give him anything this Father’s Day but he would love it if you would forgive everything this Father’s Day. He may not even say thanks if you seek reconciliation, but be sure your heavenly Father will.
Kids make Dad glad when they seek to grow into their full potential in Christ. He doesn’t care if you’re a football player, but he does want you to be a player in life. Be who you are supposed to be. Dad doesn’t want a paisley necktie this year. Most of all, as the text states, he wants his kids to be wise. Little children can be real headaches but older children can be even bigger heartaches. Don’t put your folks through unnecessary pain. Most will do so anyway because kids have to learn the bumps on the road by themselves. One wit said, “Children may be deductible but they’re still taxing’. Some parents make payments on that tax bill for decades; why not pitch in and make the load lighter?
I would if I could but my hard-working farmer, salesman, restaurateur, coach, Marine, father of eight is now with the Lord. But I see his reflection in the mirror more and more each day and with the reflection comes responsibility.