A Better Dad
June 16, 2012
By Pastor Tim Richards
At the end of their first date, he took the girl home. They had enjoyed a wonderful evening and he decided to try for a first kiss. He tried to act confident as he leaned toward her with his hand against the wall and said with a smile, “Darling, how ’bout a good night kiss?” His shy date was a bit embarrassed and said,
“Oh, I couldn’t do that and besides, my parents might see us!” He replied, “Oh, come on, who’s gonna see us at this hour?” The girl shot back, “No, I would just die if someone saw us.” The boy, “Oh come on… they’re all asleep.” She replied, “No way, it’s too risky.” He said, “Oh please, I love you so much!” “Well, I like you too, but I just can’t.” “Oh yes you can. Please?” “No, no. I just can’t.” “Pleeeeease?”
At that moment the porch light came on, her older sister in pajamas with messy hair opened the door and said in a sleepy voice, “Dad says go ahead and give him a kiss or I can do it. In fact, he says he’ll come down and do it himself. But either way tell him to take his hand off the intercom button.”
You have to love the story, I do. The guy’s hand on the intercom is so unexpected. However, I kept going back to the father in the story. He isn’t the kind of dad I want to be. This guy is more concerned with his sleep than his daughter’s discomfort. He doesn’t offer her a way out of her date’s advances, and even sends another daughter instead of getting involved himself.
While I understand his frustration, he was emotionally disconnected and physically uninvolved. Instead of helping his daughter develop the confidence to politely, but firmly say, “No” the next time she was in a similar situation, his actions and attitude revealed he was much more concerned about his own comfort than he was with hers.
As a father for more than half my life, there have been more than a few times when I was neither the father I wanted to be nor the father my children needed. Times when I was more concerned about my needs, than theirs.
The kind of dad I want to be is summed up in Ephesians 6:4, “And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.” (TLB)
The Bible encourages dads to be gentle, intentional and involved in their children’s lives. As we prepare to celebrate another Father’s Day, my prayer is that each dad will not only say thanks to his father, but will commit to being a better dad as well.