Honoring All Dads: 365 Days a Year

A Simple “Thank You Dad for________….” Is a Powerful Way to Honor Your Father!

Honoring Dads, Spiritual Dads, Single Dads, Step Dads & Grandads, 365 Days a Year

My husband and I are part of the National Fatherhood CoMission on Fatherhood and every year the goal is to link arms and hearts with organizations around the country to “Honor Your Father!” What does that look like? How can you help be a voice for fatherhood in our community, our country and in your own family?

When a child, young or old, reaches out to their dad to simply say thank you (a form of honor), that alone can open doors for healing, new conversations, reconnections, or even reconciliation. That is our main hope and prayer through this campaign. Our goal is to reach over 50 million Dads, children and families so they will be strengthened through the simple act of honor – “Thanks Dad for __________…”

We want to say, “Thank you” to the traditional dads who have stayed the course day in and out, who have loved their wives and stayed faithful for decades! Thank you for showing your children what a lifetime commitment looks like and how important it is to keep your promises.

We want to say, “Thank you” to the spiritual dads who have prayed for others, listened to hurting hearts, spoken life and peace to troubled situations and been an example of Jesus in the midst of our brokenness. By taking time to “see” and “hear” the younger generation you are impacting their entire destiny! Your words of life and peace will break the patterns of pain and help give them stability and strength for every situation. Your words and moments matter. Your investment will yield generations of return!

We want to say, “Thank you” to the single dads who are relentless in love and commitment to their children, either as the solo parent or as a co-parent. Your children need you in their lives as much as humanly possible and what you do matters. Thank you for not giving up when things get hard. Thank you for respecting your children’s’ mother; thank you for showing your children what a Godly man looks like even if is outside the traditional family situation. Your children need to know you love them and there is never a day in their lives that they won’t need you. No matter what happened, your children love and respect you. Stay the course and no matter what obstacles you face along the way, keep pursuing your children and letting them know you see them and hear them and that they are beyond important to you.

We want to say, “Thank you” to the stepdads who sometimes are faced with a really hard job of balancing love, discipline and dealing with confusing emotional dynamics that often come up in stepfamilies. We appreciate how you stay engaged and love your step children as well as how you respect and communicate with the kids’ bio dad. You matter. Thank you for getting involved and speaking life and love to your step children. Sometimes it takes a while to know how the stepfamily fits together but keep showing up and loving the kids, even when they don’t seem to respond, love them anyway. They need you and it might be a decade later, but one day they will say thank you!

We want to say, “Thank you” to the granddads who have been responsible for starting family legacies, traditions and who continue to love and enjoy their kids and grandkids. Your wisdom is so important to all of the family. Keep sharing and telling your stories! From generation to generation the Truth will be shared as well as your personal legacy – your stories will live on for decades to come. You may not understand today’s crazy technology but keep telling your stories and keep taking us fishing. We need you and we need to have strong and meaningful memories of you. Forgive us if we seem “too busy” sometimes—keep taking us back in time and help us see who you are and what mattered most to you.

Let us all remember to HONOR our fathers and not just one day a year, but expressing our “Thank you Dad for ______” is important 365 days a year!

 

Tammy Daughtry, MMFT, is an author, speaker and holds a Masters in marriage and family therapy. She is based in Nashville. For free resources and to explore and on-going conversation see www.CoParentingInternational.com and www.ModernFamilyDynamics.com.

My Schedule is Insane!

 

 

When a dad pleads “my crazy schedule” for why he’s ghosting his kid’s event, or family time in general, if he’ll hear me, I have a pretty practical response.

Ninety-nine percent of the men we work with are textbook type A’s, shrink-wrapped into their calendars with no margin in the day. Zero. Most of them are cell-phone dependent, doing life by the quarter hour. When we tell them, almost first thing, to open their calendars and clear out hours—plural—it’s like waving scissors at a patient’s morphine drip.

Turns out, speed through the day is its own narcotic, and getting back to our souls, our families, our friendships, can be a cold downshift. A man serious about restoring his relationships, though, does well to start with the chart: a spreadsheet anyone can knock out in five minutes because it amounts to six columns with six headings: Activity, Heart, Impact, Growth, Obligation, and Total.

In the far-left column, under Activity, he lists everything he does, morning to night, week to week, month by month and through the year. It’s a list, not a judgment. Include shower, breakfast/donut shop, drive to work, meetings, sports section…everything. To the right of each activity, under each column heading—HeartImpactGrowth and Obligation—he ranks that activity 1 to 5, low priority to high.

Brutal honesty is optimum. Under Obligation, for example, Krispy Krème probably gets a 1. Wedding anniversary? Five. A professional course may get a 3 for Growth and a 1 for Obligation.

When list and rankings are complete, at the far right, tally the totals, survey the results, and ask two questions:

  1. What low-value activities can I eliminate?
  2. Of the remaining high-value activities, where can I double up?

 

The first time I worked the chart, my small Beech Bonanza V-Tail airplane scored low. My kids were growing inches by the day, and flying swallowed family time whole. My golf dates, by the time I dressed, played 18 holes, and debriefed at the clubhouse, likewise devoured prime hours. Since I was serious about opening my time, those two questions threw on a spotlight. My plane went on the market. Golf could wait until the kids were in college. On my daily train downtown, I began to work the Bible study I’d previously done at home.

Years in finance had taught me that a given activity should either generate revenue or build profit. In those decades, if I wasn’t recruiting for new brokers to raise income, I was looking for ways to cut expenses. Now, unless a phone call, even a cup of coffee, advances my priorities, it gets a polite no. It has to—because the difference between proactive and reactive is the difference between my agenda and someone else’s.

Each person determines what activities to cut or where to double up. I can only testify to that moment when you look up and yesterday’s toddler wanting to teeth on your keys is asking now to take the car. It’s that fast. This is the short version of a caffeinated exercise that woke me to my own priority slippage. It brought home that when I fail to master my schedule, my schedule masters me.

If your schedule is crazy, the person able to restore sanity is you. Start with the chart. On the other side of blurring speed is real life.

—————

 

Dean Niewolny is CEO of The Halftime Institute, an organization that teaches, coaches, and connects marketplace leaders to discover God’s calling on their lives and engage in the issues Jesus cares about. Dean is the author of the new book Trade Up. For more information, please visit https://halftimeinstitute.org.

Obedience, Not Achievement

My father taught me this simple lesson of the motivation of obedience through an unusual preaching experience.  After we moved to Misouri, he discovered there was a large mental hospital run by the state with no Sunday service for the patients.  Dad made himself available and structured a worship service early Sunday morning for these people with mental disorders.

The church service at the state mental institution was enjoyable for my brother Jay and me, but not so much for spiritual reasons.  We saw it more as an experience in entertainment, for these folks displayed true spontaneity.  At a normal church things may be predictable—but at the mental hospital you never knew what might happen.

Our song leader was always full of surprises.  He was a large man over six feet tall, and you would have expected him to have a booming voice. He would compose himself, instruct the piano player and congregation of the page number and begin singing.  But out came a high-pitched shriek like a pig getting poked with a prodder.  He led the singing in an unabashed falsetto voice and had a terrific time doing it.  His conducting was entertaining and effective, for we all sang loudly to lessen the pain of hearing his voice.

Another person who added a lively touch to the service would sit in the back of the room and chime in to affirm whatever Dad was saying.  But instead of saying, “Amen,” he would say, “wha-oh” as if something was going wrong. If ever a turn would take place in a story Dad was telling, or if something unplanned would happen, you would hear him come through with a “wha-oh!”  Or if Dad would ever mention a woman, he would come through without fail. “Wha-oh! Wha-oh!”  My brother and I always counted how many “wha-ohs” he contributed during the service, and would keep track seeing if he could break his record from the previous week.

Another lady always sat in the same seat on the front row and contributed to the service regularly.  Her form of participation was to use filthy language throughout the meeting.  She could cuss for thirty seconds straight and not use the same word twice.  We were amazed—nothing like this ever happened at regular church!  Just as Jay and I kept track of how many times the man would say “wha-oh,” we also kept track of her utterances. We figured we must have been the only kids who could go to church on Sunday and learn new words for the week.

One Sunday morning Dad was telling a story.  He described a man who was lovingly trying to help out a needy person.  A line from the story went like this: “And the man reached out his hand to touch her shoulder.”  I guess Dad thought the swearing sailor lady needed the personal touch, and as he spoke he reached out his own hand as if to touch her on the shoulder.  At that moment, she stood up and said with a profane expletive, “don’t ya touch me, preacher!”

For a moment there was silence, and then “wha-oh! wha-oh!”  Soon everyone roared with laughter!  Jay and I just about laughed ourselves out of our chairs, because we had never heard anyone say that to Dad—much less while he was preaching.  I remember Dad laughing right along with everyone else.  It didn’t seem to interrupt his line of thinking and his message, and he simply continued with what he was saying.

As we were driving away from the hospital, my dad asked me a question.  “David, don’t you have to give a short message in Sunday School next week?”  I replied, “Yes, sir.”  Dad continued: “Why don’t you be the preacher next week here at the hospital.  It will give you a chance to practice, and these folks would enjoy hearing you.”

“Sure, that will be fun!” I said.  But then my thoughts turned to the sailor woman.  Wha-oh.    I felt I should go ahead and do it, but was concerned about how I could handle her interjections during my talk.   So I decided to take the spiritual approach.  I told Dad I would do it, and would pray for her all week.  I did pray for her: that she would get real sick or die.  When Sunday came and we walked into the meeting room at the hospital, she was the first one I saw. She was sitting there waiting for me, guns loaded and ready to fire.

When the time came for me to speak, she had not uttered a sound.  I began talking, went through firstly, then secondly.  I thought my prayers had been answered. Maybe she had lost her voice? But when I began “thirdly,” she chimed in with a reference to Hades and said, “Somebody shut the little preacher up!” No one laughed at that point. I did hear a faint, “wha-oh.”  I turned red, forgot about thirdly, and called on Dad to end it with the benediction.

While riding home I asked Dad, “When she blasted you, everyone laughed and so did you.  It didn’t bother you one bit.  How come?”

“You don’t have to worry about how you’re being treated, or even whether or not they’re responding.  Just think about the Lord, how much they need Him, and that you are busy doing His work.  Then what they say or do won’t bother you that much.”

Dad had been led by God to minister to these people, and he was being obedient.  In his normal ministry, Dad received much affirmation from many responsive people, leading hundreds to Christ in seventy years as a pastor.  In addition to work in his own church, Dad spoke to many large gatherings as a revival preacher with thousands of conversions over the years.  But what about his ministry at the state hospital?  We could not see a lot of response from those folks.  For Dad, simply being obedient to God’s leading was reward enough.

 

–David Maddox

Stay Relative

The world is saying that truth is relative. Dad’s primary role is to keep Truth relative.

In his book, Case for Christ Lee Strobel’s investigation into the facts surrounding Christ provides answers to key questions around the validity of the Bible as he shares information gleaned from scholars. One thing that resonates with me in his research is the popular thought that Jesus was just another prophet that happened to fulfill some prophecies by accident. In an interview with Louis S. Lapides, the statistical probability of just eight Old Testament prophesies being fulfilled by one man is explained like this – If you filled up the state of Texas two feet deep in silver dollars and marked one with an X, then allowed a blind folded man to wander the state and bend down at any point to pick up a coin, the statistical probability of him picking up the marked coin is the same as the odds of eight OT prophecies being fulfilled by one man. Jesus fulfilled 48 OT prophecies!

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. … On hearing this, many of His disciples said, “This is hard teaching. Who can accept it?” … “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. – John 6:56, 60 & 67.

Hard teaching indeed! It seems the motivation of many following Jesus at this time was grounded in what He could do for them and for some, in how they could help Him. The message was to be with Him, to walk with Him. The “many” were used to doing the Law and the numerous sub-laws the religious practices of the day mandated. The concept of Oneness, having the Christ in them was too much to grasp. Many fell away as followers not necessarily into sin but back to their more comfortable religious practices.

Today, Christ’s body and blood in a Christian are celebrated in Holy Communion – eating of the bread and drinking of the wine. As we celebrate by ingesting the elements we are challenged to live by ingesting the Word of God – The Word became flesh and walked among us, John 1:14. This is hard teaching – living under the Word of God. Many are turning away. Men, women, families, whole churches, even denominations are turning away. Dave Peterson, retired senior pastor, eloquently said that the question comes down to whether we “view the world through the lens of Scripture or view Scripture through the lens of the world.”

The challenge is on! Relative truth has gained traction on our watch! It is up to dads to keep Truth relative first in our lives and families, to lead spiritually by example. We are to conform to the image of Christ, (Rom.8:29), not to the pattern of this world, (Rom.12:2).

Tips to Stay Relative:

  • Practice spiritual disciplines – time in prayer, scripture, worship, study, fast, journal
  • Initiate spiritual discussion in the home between Sundays
  • Pray daily individually and together as a family
  • Stay alert to the devil’s schemes and rebuke them immediately.

 

Prayer guide: Lord, I confess my conformance to the world. It has been easy physically and emotionally to go along with relative truths that have permeated the culture. It is intoxicating. Thank You for walking this earth and providing clarity in the Way. By Your grace I chose to ingest Your Word and keep Truth relative in marriage, family and in the circles of influence where You have me. Grant me the boldness to walk with You. Amen.

A faithful father keeps Truth relative in marriage, family and other circles of influence.

www.faithfulfathering.org

Ph:281.491.DADS/Fx:281.565.5365

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