Larry Deeds

What do/did you call him? Father (very formal)? Dad? Daddy? Old Man (Never; that’s disrespect)? I called mine “Pop” and it was a very respectful “Pop”. I can say that both my father and my father-in-law — though not perfect — were two of the best male role models” I have ever had, and I wouldn’t have traded either with anyone else.

“Pop” and “Dad” were part of the Greatest Generation. Both were survivors of the Great Depression and military veterans. They were hardworking, generous, loving with a twinkle in their eyes (but not outwardly emotional) and kind but firm. They remind me of the chorus of Holly Dunn’s song “Daddy’s Hands.”

“Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin’; Daddy’s hands were hard as steel when I’d done wrong. Daddy’s hands weren’t always gentle but I’ve come to understand, there was always love in Daddy’s hands.”

And both “Pop” and “Dad” loved their families and more importantly, loved God first and foremost and realized the importance of teaching their children about Jesus Christ, the Bible and the importance of the local church.

Today we hear way too much about deadbeat dads and absent fathers and how there are way too many single parents and fatherless children. Yes, there were some of those when I was growing up too, but there did not seem to be nearly as many as there are today.

As I watched a lot of television coverage of the Greatest Generation and the 75th anniversary of D-Day, arguably one of the world’s most important military maneuvers and a very costly one, I saw Susan Eisenhower talking about her grandfather Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president who served the United States as a general in the Army. She described him and many of the men of his generation as men who were selfless and were willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

Today’s generation is much too selfish for this type of life in the home, business, community or church. The philosophy of today is Me first and one cannot be a good Dad/Daddy/Father/Pop with that lifestyle.

In Eden, God created male and female and designed the family for one of each to join together in an indissoluble bond and bring into the world godly offspring. That requires that both mother and father put God first, then each other and the children next.

This allows the family to be what it should be and allows the community, the church and the world to be as God intended.

It’s time for men — Christian men — to step up to the plate and be biblical Christians. They must love God above all else and exemplify that to their wives and children.

Then a husband must then love his wife and show his children how to love by how he openly loves her. Dad must love his children and show them Jesus Christ, the importance of God’s Word and the importance of the local church.

Dad must teach and train his children to be generous and loving to others, not to hoard money or toys or depend too much on material things. He must show the value of hard, honest work and the joy of earning — not being given — a living.

To sum up the role of father, he must show to all around him the value of selflessness and sacrifice. This is the example of our Heavenly Father who gave up His Son to die for us and we must show the world His example.

“What this dying world could use is a willing Man of God who dares to go against the grain and works without applause; a man who’ll raise the shield of faith, protecting what is pure; whose love is tough and gentle; a man whose word is sure.

“God doesn’t need an orator who knows what just to say; He doesn’t need authorities to reason Him away; He doesn’t need an army to guarantee a win; He just needs a few good men.

“Men full of compassion, who laugh and love and cry; men who’ll face eternity and aren’t afraid to die; men who’ll fight for freedom and honor once again, He just needs a few good men.

“He calls the broken derelict whose life has been renewed; He calls the one who has the strength to stand up for the Truth. Enlistment lines are open and He wants you to come in, He just needs a few good men.”

(Written by Suzanna Gaither Jennings and Barry Jennings; sung by the Gaither Vocal Band)

It’s been said that Mother’s Day is the day of the year with the most phone calls home and that Father’s Day is the day of the year with most collect phone calls home.

You young folks can Google collect call.

That may or may not be true. But this Sunday, Church Talk salutes all our fathers and all our men and boys.

God has given you an important and unique role in this world. It isn’t easy, but it must be done. God bless you each and every one.


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