Just this past week a couple of special days were celebrated: my anniversary and Father’s Day.
On June 18, 1994, I was married to Valerie Riddle. Valerie and I have now been married 17 years, and boy has there been a lot of water under that bridge! So, this June 18th was a celbration of that first day we became legally bound to put up with each other (said with a wink).
June 19, 2011 was Father’s Day. Since I am the proud father of 3 girls and a four-legged son, Nugget, it was only right that I be celebrated. I’ve been a pretty good dad, I must say, even if they lie and say they think differently. They love me.
My wife and I exchanged, sorta, some gifts for our anniversary. She received, from me, a pearl ring, set with diamonds in silver. I received, from me (with her permission), a new Schwinn bicycle with chrome fenders, seven speeds, a rear rack, a speedometer/odometer, and a mirror. We were both pleased.
But what really makes a good husband and father? I believe that a good husband and father is many things, but most of all he should mirror Jesus Christ. How can this be done?
A Man Should Love His Wife.
A Christlike dad should be a Christlike husband. How is that possible? Well, take a look at Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it...” Men, we should love our wives with a sacrificial love that transcends bad hair days, PMS, or maxed-out credit cards. Consider those things nothing more than nails with which to hold us to the cross of marriage.
Boys and girls that grow up seeing a loving, sacrificial relationship between a man and a woman – a relationship bound by a commitment before God and man – seek themselves to be the kinds of men and women that hold a society together. On the other hand, children that grow up in “families” where the man is abusive, self-centered, arrogant, manipulative, or spiteful, tend to act the same way when they find a mate. The men tend to be abusive users, while the women tend to be facilitators.
A Man Should Be a Light
The way we act as husbands and fathers can be crucial to the spreading of the Gospel. When others watch our actions, they walk away with an impression that reflects back on our Heavenly Father. Did He teach us to act that way? Is this the way HE treats His Bride?
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
A Man Should Bear His Cross
Marriage may sometimes feel like a cross we bear. It can get tough, for sure. The sacrifices are many, especially when it comes to our egos, our dreams, our garages, our sports cars, etc. But it WAS Jesus who said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).
Marriage is no place for the wimpy, the selfish, or self-centered. Neither is marriage the place for the one who seeks the pleasure of the here-and-now. Marriage is about the long-term benefits that come with commitment. Thankfully, for our sakes, Jesus remained committed to His calling and “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).
A REAL husband is committed for the long-haul. A REAL father is one who sets an example of sacrifice. Men, may we be the best that we can be as we become like Christ. And even if we can’t be perfect, at least we can try. We do have big shoes to fill.
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48