Friday, June 16, 2017
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Disney World. The Magic Kingdom. How can a four-year-old girl be a little cranky in that dream destination for kids her age? Our granddaughter had been having a great day there with her mom and her cousins while her daddy was busy in meetings. She'd done all the princess stuff she loved, she'd gotten the autographs of Disney characters that she loved, she'd gone on rides she'd been looking forward to. But for some reason, by early afternoon she was just a little out of sorts. By that time, her dad was available, and he showed up to take her on some rides. And suddenly, it was like the clouds had blown away and the sun came out. She was the bouncy, happy little girl we all know again. In retrospect, I guess it was easy to diagnose why the clouds had rolled in. Even in the middle of all the excitement a child could ever want, she was missing her Daddy!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Substitute For a Daddy."
It's true of every one of us, even if our childhood is way behind us. There's a spot in our heart and in our life that was meant to be filled by a father. And it doesn't matter how much of a "Magic Kingdom" a person's life becomes, there's still no substitute for a father. If you've been trusted by God with the awesome assignment of being a father, don't ever forget there's nothing that can take your place in the life of your son or daughter. No matter how young or how old they are.
In Ephesians 6:4, our word for today from the Word of God, He speaks directly to dads: "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." We fail our children, and we fail the God who gave them to us when we continually "exasperate" them.
We exasperate them by our absence. We're so busy they just get our leftovers while everyone else gets our best. And that's wrong priorities. We exasperate our children by our unavailability. We're around them, but we're not with them. We're all tied up with sports on TV or some website, checking something out, we're doing our "chores" or we're involved in our hobby or our work. We're there, but they can't have us-because from the way it looks to them, there's something always more important than they are.
We exasperate our children by our criticism, too. How many of us have been wounded by the feeling that we could never be good enough for our dad? If you're always harping on what they need to improve, on what's wrong with them, that child is going to have a hard time believing they have a lot of value. The praise and encouragement of a dad is one of the most powerful life-shaping forces on earth.
Our kids are also exasperated by a father's silence-he doesn't express his feelings, he doesn't show or speak his love for them. So they're never sure where they stand. And a dad can exasperate a child with just passivity-a failure to lead, to set and enforce consistent boundaries, to provide spiritual leadership for them.
Maybe you're thinking about the hole you have in your life because of what your father never was for you. I call it the daddy deficit. I've got a wonderful promise from God for you in Psalm 68:4-5, "His name is the Lord...a father to the fatherless." And Psalm 10:14 declares that "You, O God...are the helper of the fatherless." God is already your Creator. He wants to be your Father-to love you, to care for you, not like the earthly father you had, but like the father you always wished you had.
But first you've got to have the sins forgiven that stand between you and Him. God the Father sent His only Son, Jesus, to die to pay for those sins so you can belong to the ultimate Father you were made for. The day you put your total trust in Jesus to forgive your sins, you get a personal Savior and you get the Father that your heart is missing.
You ready for that? Tell Him that today. It's time for a new story in your life to begin. You know, our website is called that - ANewStory.com. It's why it's there is to help you get that new beginning that only Jesus can give you. I hope you'll go there today.
You know, as a Dad, there's a lot of regrets. He'll forgive every mistake, every sin we've ever committed. All the hurts we've inflicted, He died to pay for them. This is your new beginning today.
God's waiting to welcome you into His big ole' Father's arms this very day.