A Word to Dads

Thanks.

That’s it…thanks.

Though the cynics among us claim it’s all a racket – that is – Hallmark created Father’s Day to sell cards – don’t believe it.  It’s right, and natural, and a very good thing that we take time once a year (and really, far more often than that) to say thank you to Dads everywhere.

Being a Dad is no easy job.  Oh, siring offspring, that’s easy enough, but living a life of integrity, loving and providing a good example for your children, day in and day out, that’s far from easy.  It does happen.  Think of some great examples from the Bible:

  • Abraham, who went forth on faith and exerted a powerful spiritual influence on his family
  • Isaac, who demonstrated the power and necessity of blessing one’s children
  • Jacob, who commanded his household to put away idols
  • Manoah, who prayed for instruction in regard to his coming child
  •  David, who gave godly advice to his son Solomon
  • Zechariah, the godly father of John the Baptist
  • Cornelius, the head of a religious household

These and many others shine in history for people of faith to emulate.

Too often, we think fatherhood is about giving things to our kids, material things: that first ball or doll, the school books or sports uniform, that first car or college education.  Or, we think it means footing the bill when your kid messes up and unexpectedly costs the family some money.  Well, there certainly is a cost to being a father – and, as many Dads will say, the greatest cost sometimes is not material in nature at all.  It can hurt to love deeply, unconditionally, consistently.

Yet that is exactly how God loves us.

So thank you Dads – whether you are fathers in the literal or figurative sense – a “father figure” to others – thank you for being willing to, as scripture says, “love as you have first been loved.”  Thank you for pointing the way to a Heavenly Father who shines His love on us all, all the time.

 

 

 

 

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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