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my little ponies

Happy Father’s Day! Did you get the grill heated up and eat some great meat? We had supper on the grill Sunday afternoon and, if I am going to get the grill up, I just go ahead and cook all the meat we have in the freezer. Now we have smoked bacon, hot dogs, and grilled chicken for days!

Even though we live nowhere near my Dad, we were able to face time and celebrate the day over the phone. Dads are a vital part of the family unit God created. Moms, too, but for today, we will focus on dads. Dads set the example for how their daughters will allow themselves to be treated and teach their sons how to be responsible, hard-working, Godly men. Dads show their children how to treat others by loving their mom. Dads have a stressful responsibility by leading the family and shouldering the well-being of each member. Dads have the awesome privilege of leading their families spiritually, too. With that responsibility comes the realization that they are accountable to God for the well-being of their families.

Jesus shows us a sweet example in Matthew 19:14 where he tells the disciples not to keep the children away but to let them come. It describes Him involving Himself personally with them by holding them and treating them with respect and kindness because He loves them and believes in their value, despite their young age.

Dads set the stage for how their children view God as well! He is our heavenly Father, so earthly fathers have a serious, yet fun, place to serve in the lives of their kids. My best friend in fifth grade was the pastor’s daughter and I knew then that I wanted to be in ministry myself, and/or marry someone who was in ministry because I loved church and being around their family so much. Her mom was loving and taught our Sunday School class and her dad paid attention to the children in church, gave a children’s sermon each Sunday, and showed they mattered by attending children’s church events. By loving church and being loved by the leaders in it allowed me to listen to what leaders said about God and enabled me to learn to love God and live for Him as well as my mind matured. On the other side, we have seen pastors who do their children a disservice by not allowing their own children to “bother” them in the sanctuary and place no priority in the lives of their children unless they have extra time. My husband has been instructed at church as a student pastor to keep our children away while working at church.

It is pretty fantastic to disciple our children by involving them in ministry, no matter their ages! They can totally understand they are valuable and learn to serve others as we minister as a family. Most people love children and pets, right? It is great fun to visit the sick people in the hospital with our kids and watch people smile as children cheer them up and help them forget about worries. It is great to greet people at church functions carrying babies around, as their innocence and laughter (or tears) disarm people and allow conversations to happen. Even children can serve God and understand they are privileged to serve their heavenly Father!

We see the importance of teaching children about our loving Father in Mark 9:42, “But if someone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to lose faith—it would be better for that man if a huge millstone were tied around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” Wow! Dads have a great responsibility to be able to teach and love their children while showing them they are valuable and important, no matter what. Dads make a huge difference in the lives of their children. We made a card for my husband this year, and I asked the girls, ages four, two, and 18 months, what they liked best about Daddy so we could put it in the card. They said they liked that Daddy plays with them. This is the best and only input they had! They want time and feel loved when they are respected enough to have their Daddy play with My Little Ponies and read books to them. Playing Frisbee out in the yard is a hit, too. These moments are ones that matter and teach children that God loves them. I remember my own Dad brushing the tails of My Little Ponies when I was little. I also remember learning how to play football with my little brother. I love cheese danishes to this day after my dad took me fishing when I was little and we ate McDonald’s cheese danishes afterward. Some of you did not grow up with a God-loving Dad and some of you did not grow up with a Dad at all. Perhaps there was a father at home, but was not a daddy. Some of you have a difficult time understanding a heavenly Father who loves unconditionally form the lack of fatherly love on earth. I am very sorry because you did not ask for that. Life is not fair. The good news is that we have a heavenly Father Who loves you more than you know and desires to hear about your day, accomplishments, friends, school, work, and struggles. “He is a Father to the Fatherless…” (Psalm 68:5) Great job to all the dads in the world who work hard during the day and come home at night to bathe some kids and even read a book or two when they are tired. Great job to all the dads who take time to explain God’s Word to their children and talk about it at home. I hope you all had the chance to speak love to the dads in your lives. I hope most of all you feel loved by your heavenly Father.



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