As Fathers' Day approaches, I'm flooded with many emotions. My youngest child has just turned 20 — I no longer have a teenager which makes me feel old, but I rejoice that both of my children are now in their twenties and have their own deep and personal faith. My wife and I recently celebrated twenty-eight years of marriage. My own physical father, Daddy Al whose spiritual legacy and encouragement I still carry with me, has been dead now for nearly 25 years. We just celebrated the birthday of my second father, Grady, and we will celebrate our 21st Fathers' Day with him as a part of our family. So don't be surprised as we approach Fathers' Day here in the states that I'm thinking about the importance of fatherhood.

Many people never have the blessing of a good father. I've been blessed to have two great earthly fathers. So many blessings that I have as a Christian man are mine because I've had the godly influence of these two fine men — both worked as Elders and worked hard in life-changing ministries in addition to being respected in their jobs. Hundreds will go to heaven directly because of their work. Thousands will be in heaven because of their continued influence through those they've led to the Lord.

I will confess that it has not been easy these last decades to be a godly father and husband. Socially, roles have changed for men. Most of those changes have been for the better, but most of us have had to make those changes without much in the way of pioneers who had gone before us. Emotionally, fathers — and especially Christian fathers — have been belittled, ridiculed, scandalized, and trivialized by the movie and television industry. For several decades, men were even told they had to be more like women in the way they processed their emotions, defined their significance, and understood their value. While some of that "getting in touch with our feminine side was good," a significant portion of it was intended to destroy the important and God-ordained role of a godly father in a family.

So what are we to do with all of this?

First, as men, we must step up to the plate and be God's men — in our families, schools, communities, and our churches. Let's be real men — authentic in what we say and do. Let's be involved with our families and courageous in our interactions with other men.

Second, let's pursue life with passion. God did not make us to be a batch of lemmings or robots that blindly do whatever those around us want us to do. Let's be involved in things that stir us in our souls and challenge us to be more than a spectator at church. We can be a man's man and set a godly example — in fact, that's what God has made us to do.

Third, let's realize our importance to our wives, our families, our churches, our community, and our world. Our influence is not only felt, but our examples are crucial in forming future generations of men.

We must step up to the plate and be God's men.
Fourth, let's appreciate and value the godly men who have blessed our lives and have influenced us. Let's talk about them and their legacies in our families and to other men. Let's celebrate the lives and examples of those who have lived well and honored God.

And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 NLT)