Monday, June 16, 2008

I love you, Daddy!

Yesterday we celebrated Father's Day.

Fathers. They're a wonderful thing to celebrate. My siblings and I decided to make our Father a T-shirt for Father's Day. I would show you a picture of it but, though the camera is available, the shirt is not. Dad is wearing it, and he's not home right now.

Making shirts for Dad is a long standing tradition in our home. We don't actually make the shirt... I guess it'd be more proper to say we decorate it.

Mom started it all long ago, by getting a simple T-shirt and fabric paint from the store. Now I can't remember what came first but, with Mom's help, we children have made him...

...a shirt that had our hands outlined in fabric paint on it,...

...a sweatshirt that had our feet outlined with fabric markers on it (and the verse "how beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who bring good news" written on it too!) ,...

...another shirt with updated hand sizes (and numbers!), ...

...a shirt with all sorts of exclamations written in a crazy fashion all over it (Our dad is... "great," "godly," "wonderful," "hard-working," "handsome," "fun," etc.)...

...and just recently we've discovered the wonder of photo-transfer paper. So for his birthday last year we made a shirt with our pictures on it, and the words "Thanks, Dad! We love you!"

There have been other shirts, too, with Bible verses, and even store-bought shirts that say "this is what a great dad looks like." and "world's greatest dad." (Imagine... the store sells more than one of those!)

This year, in preparation for Father's Day, the six of us held a conference. (And laughingly told Mom she had to leave the room and let us plan it all on our own. She graciously did so.)

It took awhile to decided what to put on the shirt, but we finally settled on Psalms 127:

1. Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth.
5. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Around the verses, we put a bow and six arrows, with one of our names on each arrow.

This chapter is so contrary to what the world says. I can't count the number of people who have looked at the six of us children (and six isn't that many!), and said to Mom or Dad "wow, you've got your hands full!" Sometimes it's said with a voice that implies my parents are crazy to have six children but, thankfully, most of the time people say it with a little awe in their voice.

But then they add this: "I could never have that many. My two kids drive me crazy."

Why don't folks love children any more? Why don't parents take the time to train their children, so that they won't drive everyone crazy? Why don't they embrace the thought of more 'arrows'?

I could say that it's only the Christians, who read what God says about children, who embrace children. But that wouldn't be true. Lots of other religions encourage big families, and some Christians haven't read those verses....I guess.

But I know many Christian parents who do see children for what they are: potential. My parents are always telling my five siblings and I that they are praying for God to use us to change the world. The unsaved man down the street may have only one child to carry on his unrighteous heritage, but my father has six people to carry on his faith. That alone makes us valuable.

I can't tell you what a wonderful feeling it is to know that I'm valuable to my father and mother. My father loves to be home with his family. He likes to be with us. I can't tell you what a wonderful feeling it is to be liked - 'specially when I hear other fathers and mothers saying that "can't wait to have a break from the kids."

All in all, I think I have some of the best parents in the world! I KNOW I have the best ones for me - else why would God place me in their home?

My father. As the leader of our home, he is extremely valuable to all of us. Every time I think about my Daddy, and how thankful I am for him, I can't help remembering that he almost didn't get to live.

You see, his mother tried to illegally abort him.

But God, in his mercy, protected Dad, and he survived. Dad didn't have a father growing up, and the mother who raised him wasn't his own, but he survived. He survived to grow up, become a follower of Christ, marry, and have six children of his own.

I think it is in part because of the way he began life that Dad treasures his own family so much. He is giving us what he never had. And we treasure him, knowing that if God hadn't had His hand on him, we six children would never be here either. (The whole thing also makes our family furious when folks say a woman can choose to kill her baby. We would never be here if abortion had been legal when Dad was born!)

What about you? Do you treasure your father? If he is a godly man, who leads your home wisely, you had better get down on your knees and thank the Lord for that. What you have is rare.

I know that the devil hates to see a man being a godly leader of a home. That thought drives me to prayer. Does it do the same for you? Do you surround your father with spiritual protection, through prayer? Do you submit to him and allow him to be the leader of the home? Are you a good child to him? Love isn't love without obedience and honor - it's only lip service.

If you don't consider your father a wise leader, it's still your duty to submit to him. Only if he tells you to sin do you have any right to disobey him. And you NEVER have a right to dishonor him - the Bible plainly teaches that. If you aren't obeying the Lord, in honoring you father, how can you complain about him not following the Lord?

I'm so thankful that my father loves the Lord. I know he isn't perfect. But he has a heart to follow Christ, and that is a blessing many girls would pay millions to have.

This post is getting rather long, and I have so much more I could say about my father - and a TON more about my Heavenly Father, Who is the One my father points me to - but this will have to suffice for the present. I have some "daughterly" and "sisterly" duties to perform.

Let's all be extra watchful today, looking for ways to show our fathers that we want to honor them. ...and not just one day a year.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I wholeheartedly agree, Amber...