In his excellent book “Father Hunger,” Douglas Wilson writes:
“What are fathers called to? Fathers give. Fathers protect. Fathers bestow. Fathers yearn and long for the good of their children. Fathers delight. Fathers sacrifice. Fathers are jovial and open-handed. Fathers create abundance, and if lean times come they take the leanest portion themselves and create a sense of gratitude and abundance for the rest.”
These are the types of fathers sons and daughters are craving for. And, of course, these fathers do not come neatly packaged. They usually come with imperfections and without an instruction manual.
But this is all right, because Christian fathers, young and old, carry a great tool with them: the gift of admitting their own sins. Instead of justifying themselves, they seek forgiveness. This ought to be a comforting thought for young fathers here at Providence: you will make mistakes in your parenting, so early on, learn to create an atmosphere in your home where the words “Please forgive me” occur often. Use those words in the living room and in the bedroom. Do not reserve them only for corporate confession. Let your children know that daddy is imperfect, while serving a Perfect Father.
Fathers, you are what you worship, and your children will worship joyfully the God you worship most joyfully. So worship most joyfully the God of your Father Abraham. Do not idolize your children, but teach them to crush idols. Do not serve mammon, but teach them to use mammon wisely.
This is the charge to fathers in this congregation. It is a noble and mighty charge: to love your children and to conquer their hearts, before others conquer them. Learn early and often that you are a servant of your heavenly father. If you do not serve him alone, you will be another absent father in our culture. May it never be! May God grant you strength and wisdom as you lead your families, and may He lead you to your knees, beautify your words with truth and grace, strengthen your faith with biblical conviction, and renew you daily. Amen.
Prayer: O God, our Father, we have at times failed you. We have viewed ourselves as too mighty. We have repented too little, and suffered for it. May we be fathers that delight in You, our great Father. Do not leave us to our own resources, but be our present help in times of trouble. May our hearts be aligned with yours, even as your heart is aligned with your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose Name we pray. Amen.