I was in a second hand shop the other day and bought a book, yes a real book printed on paper. I have nothing against electronic books, I have a tablet which lets me read books on it also, but I guess I’m of the generation that still likes to hold a book printed on real paper too.
Anyway, a few days later I started reading the book. As I normally do, I read the front and rear covers and normally check to see what year the book was written, etc. (just a curiosity of mine). While looking the book over I found an inscription in the front of the book and the inscription has more meaning than the book it’self.
In 1993 two children, Rachal and Richard wrote this message (in part) in the cover of the book: “Dear Dad… I read something today that reminded me of you, so here it is… ‘A father is strong, yet flexible; wise, yet always learning; a leader, yet serving others.’ That’s you dad! We love you.”
We all dream of having the “Perfect” relationship with our children patterned after some thing we have seen, read or been taught. The problem is that many in our world rarely have that kind of relationship. We have been blessed in our family in the fact that now as adults our children seem to like us pretty well, but it wasn’t always that way when they were growing up. There were lots of times when they probably didn’t like us very well, maybe even wished they had other parents who were more like their idea of the “Perfect” parents.
That’s part of what being a dad is about though, isn’t it? A dad is a source of love and protection, but he is also a source of rules and discipline. As the inscription said, “A father is strong, yet flexible; wise, yet always learning; a leader, yet serving others.” The Scripture instructs us as parents, to “Train up a child in the way they should go.” (Proverbs 22:6), and from experience I can tell you, that’s not always easy.
Too often today, it seems that Dad’s try and be “Best Friends” to their children, but you can’t “Always” be in that place, because God gave you a greater job. Sometimes you have to face up to the fact that there are times while they are growing up, that you kids won’t like you very well, but that’s how it is suppose to be. Because no one likes to be disciplined, the scripture tells us, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening, it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Hebrews 12:11, NLT)
Now that they are adults our children can appreciate the discipline they had while growing up in our home. Occasionally, I’ll even get the “Dear Dad” note or phone call. Those are special and meaningful, but I don’t believe they would happen, if I had been less than a “Real Dad” while they were growing up. So, dad’s, if you want to change the world, if you want to raise good kids, step up to the place and responsibility God has given you.
And Rachal and Richard, you message is still appreciated, even by a different dad than your own.
Russ Lawson, Messages From The Heart
Messages from the Heart is sent several times each week written by Russ Lawson.
To subscribe send a blank email to: email@example.com
To Unsubscribe send a blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send any comments or questions regarding this article to: email@example.com