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Monday, June 15, 2020

A Man of Honor

I miss the television dads of a bygone era. My favorite western TV dad was Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors). He proved to be a very solid single father. As did Fred McMurray in playing the role of a widower and aeronautical engineer, Steven Douglas. He was raising three sons.

Family men who stood out as model dads were Hugh Beaumont—Ward Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver. He was an ordained Methodist minister. Let’s not forget some other dads like Andy Taylor! (Andy Griffith). And Howard Cunningham (Tim Bosley) on Happy Days. Or Mike Brady on the Brady Bunch (Robert Reed).

The Family Matters patriarch Carl Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson) had his hands full! And Bill Cosby (all things considered) was a superb model father on The Cosby Show for several years.

To our own misfortune as a nation, many families are dad-less. Statisticians tell us that nearly 20 million children in America live without a father in the home. That equates to almost 1 in 4!

Much data has been gathered over the years to warn us what can go wrong when a father is missing. Children are more likely to grow up with financial challenges. School dropouts increase. The number of violent crimes of teens stems from boys growing up in fatherless homes. And teenage pregnancies increase among the girls.

Focus on the Family also reports:
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children come from fatherless environments.
  • 70% of teen suicides occur in homes where there isn’t a dad.
The website has a good article titled, “10 Traits that Separate a Great Dad from Just a Good One.” Here are some pointers from their list:
  1. He Teaches His Children to Appreciate Things: A good father never lets his children take what they have for granted. From the food on the table to the good education he's paying for, a good father will make his children see the value in everything they have.
  2. He Accepts that His Kids aren't Exactly Like Him: He won't expect his kids to live the same kind of life he does. He respects their values and opinions.
  3. He Spends Quality Time with His Children: A dad knows how to have fun with his kids too. He takes the time to listen to his kids and have a good, easy chat with them.
  4. He Leads by Example: A good father is above the old "do as I say, not as I do" credo. (He) illustrates the importance of affection by professing his love for their mother in front of them. And he won't fight with her in their presence.
  5. He's Supportive and Loyal: A safety net, a good father is also the person his kids turn to when things go wrong.
  6. He Challenges His Kids: A father wants his children to be the best they can be, and gives them challenges that help them grow as human beings.
  7. He Teaches His Kids Lessons: A father figure is the prime source of knowledge in the ways of men, and teaches his kids accordingly. (He helps them become) well-rounded members of society. He especially instructs them in proper etiquette, on being honest and keeping their word, and on being thankful.
  8. He Shows Unconditional Love: This is the greatest quality of a good father. Even though he gets upset at his children's faults and may lament that they did not attain what he hoped for them, a father loves his children no less for it.
As for our Heavenly Father, the apostle Paul explained to the Romans, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32 (ESV)

Never underestimate the value of a dad and the influence he has on lives. The man of honor will stay true to his wife and build character into his children. When he does, Father’s Day is even more special.

Appreciate your dad? Home Depot is waiting.

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