All around our country this weekend we celebrate Father's Day. I can't begin to tell all of you dads just how important you are. Your words are important. Your love is important, and your children need your strength and godly example.
Many years ago a good friend's daughter, who was in her late teens, got off course and was living a partying lifestyle. Her father, who has a worldwide ministry, was always waiting up for her, trying to correct her, but it wasn't getting better. One day he was praying and said, "God, when are You ever going to help me with my daughter?" He felt God speak to his heart and say, "Just as soon as you start loving her." He replied, "God, what do you mean? I love her with all my heart." God said, "Well then, quit harping on her, quit threatening to punish her, and start showing her that you love her."
From that day forward, this father never said another harsh word to his daughter. He started telling her, "Honey, I love you. I believe in you. I'm proud of you. I know God has something great in store for you." He started speaking words of blessing over her life, and when he changed his approach, she changed her response. It didn't happen overnight, but over several months his daughter totally turned her life around. She rose to the level of what he spoke over her. By doing things God's way, he brought change into their relationship and set the stage for a miracle.
Do you need to see change in your relationships today? Let it start with you. Fathers, ask God to show you how your words and actions influence your children. Your words of blessing and love are especially important to your children, no matter how old they are, and no matter whether they act like it or not. Because of the power of God the Father's love for us, in us and through us, we can make a difference in our families and leave a legacy of faith for future generations!
To all the fathers who have invested so much in the lives of their children, may you be blessed, strengthened and empowered by His Spirit, and may you know the greatness of the gift that you are to them. Please know we love you and pray for you every day. Have a happy and blessed Father's Day!