Trials within and without #12. “Farther along.”

Trials within and without #12. “Farther along.”

Somebody said that the most requested hymn on Father’s Day is, “Farther Along.” It probably isn’t, but it makes a good Dad Joke.

Today is Father’s Day in New Zealand.

The three greatest things that ever happened to me were: Becoming a Christian, becoming a husband, and becoming a father.

Though progress was made toward maturity at baptism and marriage, I believe that I grew up on the day I became a father; I found out what it really meant to ‘not be your own.’

With our youngest at 23-years-old, the days of having little kid’s stuff to step over have long gone. Of course, like every parent of adult children I can tell you that the days went by swifter than Job’s weaver’s shuttle (Job 7:6). Before there was time for a progress report, they had left to start their own lives.

Today I preached a Father’s Day sermon. The reactions of the dad’s usually varied according to where they and their kids are on the age-scale. For those with adult children it was a feel-good experience, but for those with little kids it was a live-action drama.

When the apostle Paul told fathers not to exasperate their children (Ephesians 6:4), he was telling them to keep their cool. Dad’s find out that the same free spiritedness that brings joy and wonder to a father’s heart can also mystify and even infuriate the same heart…within the same hour.

However, God does not leave us without clear standards to follow. He tells fathers to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

Remember, God offers strength and wisdom for the day; that’s enough. Concerning these gifts, I would highly recommend that you ask God for as much as possible so that you have more when you need more.

How will you do as a dad? Well, “Farther along you’ll know all about it.”

John Staiger


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