The One Thing Your Father Needs

In an age of equal rights and equal time, it’s only fair to give dads equal attention.

For a few minutes, I’d like you to think about your father—or, perhaps, about the predominant male role model in your youth. Meditate on what that one individual has contributed to your life. Think about his influence over you, his investment in you, his cultivation of your character. Picture his face . . . the lines indelibly etched on it. Think about the tone of his voice . . . his laugh . . . those eyes . . . some unique expressions that emerge through the miracle of memory. Ponder the feeling of his hand around yours . . . his arm across your shoulders. That grip that provided a balanced blend of gentleness and determination . . . of compassion and masculinity . . . of “I understand” and “Now, straighten up!” Remember his walk. No other walk is like his, right? That inimitable stride. Arms swinging and back arched just so.

Best of all, I hope you can ponder a dad of exemplary character. The word is integrity. As you read this, pause and recall just one or two choice moments in your past when he stood alone. When he stood by you. When he stood tall against insuperable odds. When he sheltered you in a time of storm. When he protected you from the bitter blast of life’s brutal blows. When he said, “It’s okay—I forgive you” instead of, “You ought to be ashamed!”

In the memory of such a legacy that time can never erase, give God thanks. That’s all. Just thank the Giver of every good and perfect gift for the meaningful marks your dad branded on the core of your character . . . the wholesome habits he took the time to weave into the fabric of your life. While meandering through this forest of nostalgia, pause and lean on the great oak named Proverbs. Look closely and reflect on the words the wise man carved into its bark twenty-nine centuries ago:

The godly walk with integrity;

blessed are their children who follow them. (Proverbs 20:7 NLT)

Ah, how true!

Our Lord declares that you are the beneficiary in a perpetual, paternal policy. For the balance of your life, you will receive dividends from your father’s wise and sacrificial investments in “integrity stock.” Most of those dividends were unknown and unclaimed until you were grown. How many of us now find ourselves richly endowed!

Your dad is not perfect; he would be the first to admit it. Nor is he infallible, much to his own regret. Nor altogether fair. Nor always right. But there’s one thing he is—always and altogether—he is your dad . . . the only one you’ll ever have. And frankly, there’s only one thing he needs from you today—plain and simple—he needs to hear you say four words:

I love you, Dad.

That’s the best gift you can give. If you give him your love, you can keep all the other stuff. If you were to ask him, the gift of your love is the most valuable gift of all.

Copyright © 2013 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc.

Posted in Parenting and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.

ఖచ్చితత్వం, స్పష్టత మరియు ఆచరణాత్మకత అన్నీ చార్లెస్ ఆర్. స్విన్డాల్ యొక్క బైబిల్-బోధనా పరిచర్యను వివరిస్తాయి. చక్ ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ కు బోర్డు ఛైర్మన్ మరియు డల్లాస్ థియోలాజికల్ సెమినరీకి ఛాన్సలర్. చక్ టెక్సాస్‌లోని ఫ్రిస్కోలోని స్టోన్‌బ్రయర్ కమ్యూనిటీ చర్చ్ యొక్క సీనియర్ పాస్టర్‌గా కూడా పనిచేస్తున్నారు, అక్కడ ఆయన చాలా ఇష్టపడేదాన్ని చేయగలుగుతున్నాడు-ఇష్టపడే హృదయాలకు బైబిల్ నేర్పిస్తున్నారు. ఆచరణాత్మక బైబిల్ అనువర్తనంపై ఆయన దృష్టి 1979 నుండి ఇన్సైట్ ఫర్ లివింగ్ రేడియో ప్రసారంలో వినబడుచున్నది.