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FIRST-PERSON: Fathers that rock: the solid foundation for families

PLANO, Texas (BP)–The 19th century political figure Charles Francis Adams kept a diary. On one particular occasion, he wrote: “Went fishing with my son today — a day wasted.” His son, Brook Adams, also wrote in a diary, which is still in existence today. In the entry he made that same day, Brook wrote: “Went fishing with my father — the most wonderful day of my life!”

While Father Adams thought his entire day was wasted fishing with his son, Brook saw their time spent together as a blessing and investment. Obviously, it wasn’t the priority of Charles to spend quality time with his son.

In our culture, we often see the scenario where the father comes home from his job completed exhausted from the day’s work. As soon as he enters, the children are thrilled to see their dad and immediately pounce on him, looking for attention. The response from dad is: “Not now. I’m too tired. Go watch television.”

The words spoken to children most often in the American household today are: “Not now. Later. Go do something else.” But I ask you, when? When will it finally be time to forget yourself and remember your children? Later never comes for many, and parents oftentimes fail to communicate clearly with their children at young ages.

Sure, it’s easy to appease him or her with the nicest car, designer clothes and electronics, but most people forget to shower them with what is most important — time. Before you know it, your child is 16 and has already tuned you out. You finally realize there is a need to sit down and talk, only to find out it’s too late. Your chance has passed.

It has been said over and over that a positive and continuous relationship between the father and child is associated with high self-esteem, more self-confidence in personal and social interaction, better morals, greater career aspirations and life goals, and reduced rates of unwed teen pregnancy.

Fathers who are affectionate, nurturing and actively involved in raising their children are more likely to have well-adjusted kids. An active father is there in good times and bad. From him, his children learn how to handle difficulty, anger, disappointment and success. He’s the foundation.

Luke 6:46-49 records the words of Jesus, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.

“When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Being a dad isn’t an easy job. As a matter of fact, it’s tough, demanding and requires all kinds of courage. Dads have a single challenge to be brave and strong for their families. First Corinthians 16:13 tells us to “watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

Dads who rock build their lives upon the Rock of ages — the Lord Jesus Christ. And they construct their families upon foundations of faith established in Jesus Christ. Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.”

Your home should be the place where you can stand firm and not be shaken. Difficult days in our culture are among us. Satan is trying hard to hammer our kids, and while we can’t stop the fire from spreading, we can stop it at our doorsteps. It starts by making your home a place of refuge.

Believe it — all of our families WILL be tested. I don’t know what storm you may be facing now or what fire will sweep through your family in the future, but I know that you will be able to stand firm and strong when you are built solidly on Jesus Christ. Dads who build the foundation of their family on Jesus do more than just attend church when it’s convenient, but they actually listen and apply God’s Word in their personal and homes lives.

Joshua was a dad who rocked. In the Bible, it was he who said, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

There are three simple building materials you need when building a foundation and future that will last for your family:

— Love. Embrace and show affection to your wife and children; give them encouragement through showing affirmation and acceptance, and spend quality time with your family.

— Encourage. Build up rather than tear down; equip them with God’s Word and wisdom from your own life.

— Believe. Build your family upon the Rock — Jesus Christ (see Proverbs 22:6); the most important thing your children can take with them into the world is faith in Jesus Christ.

Fathers, build your house, your life and your family upon the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and God’s Word with love, faith, and joy and your children will be unshakable. Dads that rock for Jesus Christ will produce an everlasting life change in their families and futures.
For more information on Jack Graham, visit www.jackgraham.org. The website contains Graham’s sermons in audio and video format, as well as an online store with resources. Visitors also can sign up for “A Daily Word from Pastor Graham.”

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  • Jack Graham