Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Honoring Our Fathers

Leslie Basham: There's something so right about honoring our fathers.

Testimonies:

He's always been a strong spiritual leader and led in family devotions.

You were always a good example of good money management.

My father knew what was really important and valuable.

And I needed you way more than I ever dreamed. I love you, dad.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's Friday, June 13. Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I think one of the most beautiful aspects of God's plan and His ways is that He intended there should be right relationships between different generations. We read in Proverbs 17:6 that children's children, that is, grandchildren are the crown of old men and the glory of children are their fathers.

So, grandchildren are the crown of old men and the glory of children is their fathers. I think that's what God intended, that children should be able to be proud of their parents and to thank the Lord for the memories and the legacy left by those parents.

And so, as we're celebrating this Father's Day weekend, we wanted to take some time on Revive Our Hearts to let some of our listeners share a tribute to their dad, to express what their dad meant to them and why they give thanks to the Lord for their dad on this special occasion.

Testimonies:

When I was about 19 years old, I had come home one weekend from college and I was going through a time of doubt and confusion about my salvation. It was just a real time of testing for me.

And on this particular night, my dad would normally be getting ready for work. He was a police sergeant in the large city where we lived and he worked the graveyard shift. But I was in a lot of emotional turmoil and I just kept asking him questions about how I could be sure that I was truly saved.

And dad is extremely conscious about being on time anywhere he goes. In fact, he's always early. And I noticed that, as he was talking to me and trying to explain to me how I could trust God and that God's love was faithful, he just kept glancing back at the clock.

And finally, he picked up the phone and dialed a number and I heard him say. "Um, Lieutenant, I'm gonna be a little late tonight, sir. My daughter needs me."

I was his most important concern that night and I know that his way of relating to me at that time is one of the most important reasons why I know that my needs are important to God.

"Hello, my name is Kristin Downer. My father died when I was just barely six years old so I did not know him well. Through the ministry of Revive Our Hearts and through sister Nancy's book Lies Women Believe, God has worked very deeply in my heart regarding the father issues.

This poem I've written is the fruit of that process. May I offer it in tribute, not only to my own daddy, Frederick Whitney Quinn but also in tribute to this ministry and as a tribute to the overwhelming necessity of fathers everywhere. I've called it "My Father's Hands."

"Daddy, I don't remember you.
You died when I was just six.
But I remember your big, strong hands.
There wasn't anything they couldn't fix.

I remember your hands upon my face,
tenderly holding my head;
then, lifting me high,
you'd tickle me and tuck me into bed.

Still today, I feel your hands
guiding the reigns of my life.
I feel them again in the touch of my man,
as he strokes the face of his wife.

I hear your touch in the laughter of my sons,
now grown, with voices deep.
They tickle their children and lift them high
and carry them off to sleep.

I'm reminded of you in my Father's touch.
It probes the depths of my heart,
uprooting the bad, pruning the good,
repairing the broken parts.

How I missed you,
though I never knew
how your absence
would impact my life.

But I notice it now
in my journey
to becoming a godly wife.

I took a few detours along the way, dad.
Most of them weren't very good.
Really, I was seeking the touch
of your hand in every place I could.

For you see, dad? I had it all confused.
It wasn't your touch I craved
but rather the touch of the Dear Father's hand.

I found it when I got saved--
saved from my sin for eternity,
redeemed by the blood of the Lamb,
saved, set free by the Father's Son.
That's when my healing began.

Did you know the Savior?
Did you find Him in time?
Will I see you in heaven, dad?

Life is too brief, and eternity long
to mourn or forever be sad.
So, I've yielded those questions
over to God and I rest, knowing one day I'll see
that the touch of the Father has brought me
through to His arms for eternity.

 

And there I'll abide,
tenderly held in the fullness of Your touch.
There, I'll rejoice in the touch of the hand
I felt first in the hands of my dad.

I guess if I could say
anything I wanted to you, daddy,
even though you're gone,
it would be, "I love you.

And I needed you way more than I ever dreamed.
And I hope and dream that someday in heaven
I'll get to see you and get to meet you.
I love you, daddy."

"Hi! My name is Zoie Genrich. My father is the biggest reason that I am a Christian today because of his behavior and his words, but mostly because of the way he lived. He is retired now, and he is a volunteer with CEF. He's continuing to serve the Lord and to grow and there are so many ways that he has improved and shown me what my Heavenly Father is like."

"Hi. This is my tribute to my dad. My dad's always been a role model for me. His name is Bill Semrole. He and my mother were saved together after they were married. And when I was born, they were, he was a student at Moody Bible Institute.

He's always been a strong spiritual leader and led in family devotions. Daddy's always been strong in his convictions and that was a great example to me. And one that I've tried to follow. He stood for right, even when his friends and family would make fun of him and knock him.

And thank the Lord, he and my mom always prayed for my brother and sister and me at night before they went to bed. And, as a result, we all chose Christian partners and have been all been in ministry from the beginning of our marriages.

I think the greatest example of love that my dad demonstrated was when he was the caregiver for my mother for the last five years of her life, when she had Alzheimer's. He kept her at home and showered her with love until she took her last breath two years ago.

"My father understood an eternal perspective and priority. God has provided him with an exceptional education from Vanderbilt University in engineering, after the war. He was a hard worker in the aerospace industry and we lived quite modestly.

While I was in college, I attended a Bill Gothard seminar with my father and while we were eating our dinner, I asked him about his work and why he had chosen to minimize his ambitions at work. He said that there were really three reasons why he chose to not climb the career ladder as such.

First, at times, he had been asked to do things or report things that were not ethical or accurate. My father was a man of honesty and integrity, which he refused to compromise. I was proud and he gave me a high standard to live by.

Secondly, he was a family man and wanted to be at home with his family and be involved with his family. And in order to rise in the company, he would have been required to travel a good bit.

And then, finally, and most important to my father, was that his work paid the bills; but his true calling and where his heart truly lay was to work diligently in our local church. He wanted to please God, live for eternal values and rewards and not seek after the stuff of this world.

My father died in 1983 and I miss him terribly. Just recently, I was home and met a man who told me, 'I'm a Christian today because your father took a sincere interest in me when no one else cared.'

My father knew what was really important and valuable. His example caused me to be able, to be willing, to be a missionary because I knew God would always provide and I could invest my life in the things of eternity. And I've happily been a missionary for 30 years now. What a wonderful heritage my father gave me. What a great foundation for the life that God called me to."

"Dad, you have always been there for us and you have always made sure that our needs were met. And, dad, you taught us and were a good example of a good work ethic. You were always a good example of good money management.

You'd teach us not to buy things if we didn't have the cash to pay for it. And you have been a wonderful, devoted caregiver to mom, with all of her health issues. And you're to be admired for being married for 57 years. And dad, I love you."

"When he said for 'better or for worse,' he meant it. Due to the mental illness of my mother, the abuse that we experienced was greatly damaging and my mother did not only abuse her children, she abused her husband. My father remained faithful to her. They will be celebrating their 52nd wedding anniversary this June 2nd. He has exemplified unconditional commitment on a level that most of us will not see in our lifetime. Do I respect him? Tremendously!"

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: As we've listened to these special tributes, I know that some of your hearts have been stirred because you're thinking back to special memories that you have of your dad.

And yet, I know that for some, hearing stories like this is a little like putting salt on a wound because you may not have had the kind of relationship with your dad that the Lord intended for you to have.

In your case, your dad may have been distant or an absentee. Perhaps, he left your family when you were little or may have been in the home and maybe been domineering or controlling or even abusive.

And you find that each year, as Father's Day rolls around again, you have to fight back the tears and the sense of hurt and loss. Can I just remind you, if that's true in your life, that we do have a Heavenly Father who has compassion on His children, a Father whose love is unending and who will always, always be involved in the lives of His children.

So, on this Father's Day weekend, let me encourage you to do everything you can to express gratitude for the dad God gave you. Or if your heart is hurting, either because you never knew your dad or because your dad was not a good man, can I encourage you to turn your heart to the Lord and know that He is a Father who will never, ever let you down.

And to any dads who may be listening today, let me just say from a grateful daughter's heart, Happy Father's Day!

Leslie Basham: If you'd like to know more about the Father Heart of God, we encourage you to get a helpful tape series featuring the teaching of Mary Kassian. That series is called "Embracing God as Father."

It'll help you understand some of the reasons women have trouble relating to God as a loving father and it'll help you appreciate God's love and provision for you.

The programs include some of Nancy's thoughts as she introduces each segment of the talk. It comes on one cassette for a suggested donation of $5 or one CD for $7. And for more information, call us at 1-800-569-5959.  Or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

If today's program has inspired you to give some honor to your dad this Father's Day, would you write and tell us how it went?

Have a great weekend and join us again on Monday for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.