A Gift for Dad

Proverbs 13

In an age of equal rights and equal time, it seems only fair to give dads equal attention. Sometimes it seems the only time that happens is during the big commercial buildup for Father’s Day, and then it’s all buy, buy, buy! Families wonder whether to wrap us in robes, fill us with food, surprise us with skis, tickle us with tools, or just cover us with kisses. If I know dads, most of ’em blush no matter what you do. They are so used to providing, receiving is a little weird.

For the next several minutes, think about your father, okay? Meditate on what that one individual has contributed. Think about his influence over you, his investment in you, his insights to you. Feel his hand wrapped around yours . . . his strong, secure arm across your shoulders. Remember his grip that once communicated a balanced mixture of gentleness and determination . . . compassion and masculinity . . . not only his “I understand” but also his “Now, straighten up!”

Best of all, take time to recall his exemplary character. The word is “integrity.” Pause and remind yourself of just one or two choice moments in your past when he stood alone . . . when he stood by you . . . when he stood against insurmountable odds . . . when he provided that shelter in your time of storm . . . when he protected you from the bitter blast of life’s harsh consequences.

In the wake of such a legacy, which time can never erase, give God thanks. Thank the Giver of every good and perfect gift for the meaningful marks your dad has branded on the core of your character . . . the wholesome habits he has woven into the fabric of your flesh. While meandering through this forest of nostalgia, stop at the great oak named Proverbs and reflect upon the words the wise man carved into its bark long centuries ago: “A righteous man who walks in his integrity—How blessed are his sons [and daughters] after him” (20:7).

How very true! How blessed you are!

Dad is not perfect; he would be the first to admit it. Nor is he infallible, much to his own disappointment. Nor altogether fair . . . nor always right. But there’s one thing he is—always—he is your dad . . . the only one you’ll ever have. Take it from me, there’s only one thing he needs on Father’s Day. Plain and simple, he needs to hear you say, “Dad, I love you.”

That’s the best gift you can give. Nothing you can buy will bring him anywhere near the satisfaction that four-word gift will provide. “Dad, I love you.”

Look your dad in the eye or call him on the phone and give him the gift he needs more than anything. Give him your love.

Taken from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.