He lost his dad suddenly to a heart attack. The only thing that bothered him after the services was how his kids adored their grandfather. Particularly the oldest daughter. His intent was to set the record straight on the kind of man her grandpa was but before he could, his daughter spoke of a discussion she had with him at a critical juncture in her life. It was a discussion she was scared to address with her own dad. Grandpa listened and then reminded her how much her dad loved her. He said there was nothing she could do to change that and encouraged her to go talk with her dad. The conversation took a good turn.
That was a scene from Tim Allen’s sitcom, Last Man Standing. In an earlier scene depicting a conversation with his deceased dad, he had lamented, “You never told me you loved me Dad!” His dad fired back, “You never told me either!” Then the dad added, “I guess sometimes life doesn’t wait for us to say what needs to be said.” Robert Lewis calls this the ‘Father Wound’ in his Quest for Authentic Manhood study. Such ‘wounds’ can last well into adulthood, even ripple through generations unless a dad is intentional in letting his kids know how much he loves them. This is a charge for dads to say what needs to be said to their kids at key markers along life’s journey.
And a voice from heaven said, “This is My Son, Whom I love and with Whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:17. Upon Jesus’ baptism, His Father affirmed Him as His Son; clearly said He loved Him; and blessed Him with the confidence of ‘with Whom I am well pleased’ for the launch of His formal ministry. …and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” – Matthew 17:5. Later in Jesus’ ministry there was another encounter with the Father. He repeated His affirmation, conveyance of love for His Son and the blessing of His pleasure in the presence of Moses, Elijah, Peter, James and John. The Father then alerted the disciples present to their responsibility – ‘Listen to Him.’ If the Father thought it important to convey His affirmation, love and pleasure publicly for His Son, it is a pattern for all dads and spiritual fathers to emulate. Dads are to say what needs to be said to their kids in order to PASS on the responsibility to ‘listen to Him’.
FYI – there is an opportunity to listen to several influential fathers across the Houston area share Godly wisdom on being Motivated as a dad, providing Vision in family and being Purpose-filled as a faithful father – to become the dad you are called to be, the dad the next generation needs. It is the MVP Fathers event hosted by Sagemont Church in the Chapel room on Saturday evening, October 20th, 2018, 6:00-7:30P.M. Doors will open at 5:30P.M. The event is free but register at faithfulfathering.org.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and Your example. I have too often passed judgment on the father You blessed me with. Forgive me. I know You are sovereign and always at work shaping me through life experiences. I do embrace the opportunity to be Your representative in family and pray for strength on the journey as a father. Grant me wisdom to say what needs to be said to my kids as You did Your Son, in order to affirm them and launch them into ministry where You have them. Amen.
A faithful father says what needs to be said to his kids along life’s journey.