Every man should to read “The Influence of a Father” by Tom Lane. Gary Smalley says, “This is, by far, one of the best books on fathering I have read.” The book explores in depth the dual role of a father as a model and mentor for his children. In Discipleship Ministries family is defined as “doing life together.” Parental influence is all about training and preparing your children for life.
The scriptures abound with references regarding fathers and their responsibilities. In the book of Proverbs, there are twenty-seven references to fathers and fatherhood. Here is just a sample of what the writer has to say to fathers and their children.
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and don’t reject your mother’s teaching.” (Proverbs 1:8)
“Listen, my sons, to a father’s discipline, and pay attention so that you may gain understanding.” (Proverbs 4:1)
“Listen to your father who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22)
It is of significance that each reference begins with the word “Listen.” In each passage the father is the leader and giver; his sons are the receivers. The father’s discipline gives his children an example and model to follow. The father and mother are Biblically viewed as mentors, teaching and giving instruction for life.
The Power of a Father is best illustrated in this manner taken from an unknown source.
4 years: My Daddy can do anything!
7 years: My Dad knows a lot…a whole lot.
8 years: My father does not know quite everything.
12 years: Oh well, naturally Father does not know that either.
14 years: Oh, Father? He is hopelessly old-fashioned.
21 years: Oh, that man-he is out of date!
25 years: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
30 years: I must find out what Dad thinks about it.
35 years: Before we decide, we will get Dad’s idea first.
50 years: What would Dad have thought about that?
60 years: My Dad knew literally everything!
65 years: I wish I could talk it over with Dad once more.
The third Sunday of June is recognized by more than 75 countries as the celebration of Father’s Day. This occasion is about honoring fathers for their influence in in their homes and societies. This is a day for esteeming Dad and expressing love and appreciation on his special day. It presents a wonderful opportunity for the family to build memories and make Father’s Day an unforgettable experience.
Let me take this a step further. Most people, young and old alike, enjoy similar days that are special. What about all the days in between? From one June to another, fathers continue to be living role models and mentors for their families. Remember to esteem dad all through the year, and not just on Father’s Day. The power of the father is focused on shaping lives, building families, and changing societies. Thank God for fathers!
Let me close with a couple of quotes about the power of a father.
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”
“He was there when I didn’t understand, he was there when I was wrong, he was there when I cried, and he was there when I lied. For some reason my dad was always there, when I needed him the most. His love was never ending. And now that he’s gone there is an emptiness in my world, but not in my heart.”
Happy Father’s Day!
 Tom Lane, The Influence of a Father: How You Can Be The Role Model and Mentor Your Children Need (Tom Lane, Gateway Church 2001)
 Gary Smalley, Ph.D
 Unknown, http://www.fathersdaycelebration.com/inspirational-quotes.html
 Jim Valvano: http://www.boardofwisdom.com/togo/?viewid=1005&listname=Fathers Day#.VzI1g8L2a70
 Michael Jordan: http://www.boardofwisdom.com/togo/?viewid=1005&listname=Fathers Day&start=21#.VzI03sL2a70