The Best Father's Day Gift
 
Proverbs 23:24-26: “The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.  My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.”
 
There is nothing more depressing or heartbreaking than watching children go astray.  This is embarrassing and frustrating to their parents to the point of grief.  I can still hear the cry of parents, “I raised you better than that!”  What seems to be the problem?
 
1.  Righteousness is not encouraged in our society as it once was. Righteousness is looked upon today as religious bigotry and hypocrisy.  To be righteous is to be virtuous, just, good, and conforming to the moral law or standards.  
 
There are two objects of righteousness: man and God.  It is interesting to note that the Bible deals very clearly with both.  It points out, however that you cannot be in a right relationship with man unless you are in a right relationship with God, which is through His Son, Jesus Christ.  (1 John 1:5-10, John 14:6)
 
2.  Wisdom is being replaced with much knowledge.  Therefore, wisdom has been replaced by degrees (in more ways than one).  Respect for the wisdom of age and experience is rarely promoted.  Scriptural wisdom is scoffed at and any who seek it are considered foolish by our society’s standards.  (Proverbs 2:1-22)
 
3.  Children are not encouraged to give their hearts to their fathers.  In a society where there is so much to have and want, children have been encouraged to give over their affections and very life to the things of this world.  (1 John 2:15-17)
 
4.  Children seldom see enough of their fathers in order to have a good role model.  (Mothers make good “role models,” but a recent survey showed that fathers have a greater effect on the outcome of their children than mothers do.  This may not seem fair to mothers who carry most of the burden of raising the children.)  A father is often so over-involved with outside interests and work that to the child he is out of reach and out of touch with what is happening.  The child is then left to look for other role models. This is generally someone within his own peer group who has a dominant personality.  Or he may copy the image of his father as portrayed by his mother. This is usually a negative image because of the friction between a husband and wife when one or the other spends too much time away from home.  (Proverbs 4:1-4, 10-13, 20-22, 6:20-22, 7:1-3)
 
Fathers, if you want the best Father’s Day gift, do the following:
 
1.  Teach your children righteousness by being both morally and spiritually righteous yourself, that they may seek to be righteous.
 
2.  Show your children wisdom by letting them see you seek wisdom from mature, experienced people and from the Word of God, that they may seek wisdom.  
 
3.  Open your heart to your children and let them know that you love them, that they will feel free to give you their hearts and they will trust you with their lives.
 
4.  Be available and accessible to your children.  Spend time with them that they may see you and follow your ways.  
 
Nothing can match the following in a father’s life: “Dad, can you come and pray with me? I want to ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, just like you did.”  “Why, Dad?” “How come?”  “Can you show me how?”  “Dad I love you. You’re the best dad a person could ever have.”  “Dad, you’re more than a father. You’re my best friend.”  “Dad, I’m proud that you are my father.”
 
These things I will treasure forever.  Even now they bring tears of joy to my eyes and rejoicing to my heart.  I praise God that my children chose to respond to my instruction in a positive way when they were growing up.  May God grant you the same as you trust Him and follow His instruction.
 
In His Grace,
Pastor Ernest F. Brodie Sr.
Pastor Emeritus