It was the peppery Erma Bombeck who once said of her father, “I never knew what to do with the daddy doll, so I had him say, ‘I’m going off to work now’; and I put him under the bed.”
One of the most precious things a father can give his child is a solid work ethic. It is vital that a child see his father work hard, honestly, and to take pride in what he does. There is nothing sadder than a child whose father is a deadbeat, a bum, or even worse, dishonest.
A child learns responsibility and integrity from such a role model.
But sometimes dads take this too far. They become consumed with their work, and become unavailable to their children, and studies have shown that it is vital for both sons and daughters to develop this relationship with their fathers. A boy learns how to be a man from his father. This goes far beyond the realm of learning how to throw curve balls and attach a lure to a line … it has to do with the son’s view of ethics and integrity, and especially his view of the spiritual.
A girl learns about femininity by using her father as a guideline for what is opposite. If her relationship with her father is distant or strained, the studies say, her marital relationship later in life will be impaired and dysfunctional. It’s hard to bond with a moving target.
The Bible speaks frequently and eloquently about the need for fathers to pass their godly life on to their children.
“I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things, things from of old – what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from our children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power and wonders that he has done” (Psalms 78:2-4).
Someone has observed that in state penitentiaries prisoners frequently request “Happy Mother’s Day” cards. They almost never ask for “Happy Father’s day” cards. I wonder why that would be?
Fathers need to pass on their godly life to their children.