Today Is My Father’s Birthday

Today is my father’s birthday. He would have been 91 years old. He died almost 19 years ago at a way too early age.

The picture is my dad and brother. I’m the one on the right at about seven or eight years old.

Two things strike me about this picture. First, how young–and thin–my dad was.

Second, it’s that he and I were holding hands.

Have you ever considered what a father does for his children? Fathers are very important to the development of their children.

Here are some of the things fathers do for their children.

First, fathers set the agenda for the family. God told parents to take God’s commandments and “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). You will have the wonderful opportunity to put positive and Godly thoughts in your child’s mind. Take the time to give them those things which please God.

Second, fathers often determine how children see themselves. “The glory of a child is his father” (Proverbs 17:6). We help children have confidence about God, themselves, and the future.

Third, fathers model attitudes, values, and behavior. My dad gave me drive, discipline, and a work ethic. I often think of how he blessed me in those ways. Today, my father would be called a workaholic. He certainly was but in a strange way. My father worked a lot of  hours every week, but he attended everything I did and never neglected us at home. He provided a positive example of how a man can work and also provide for his family emotionally.

Fourth, fathers make a lifetime contribution for their children. Fathers and mothers need to remember they are molding their children. What you give children today–whether positive or negative–will last a lifetime.

Finally, fathers help determine how children see the Heavenly Father. “Your child will ask you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord our God has commanded you?’ ” (Joshua 6:20). You and I get the wonderful privilege to answer questions and set priorities for our children.

Let’s make sure they see God from us as He really is.

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  1. Jill Stogner
    Jan 18, 2017

    How timely this message is to me today. Today is your day’s birthday and today, a year ago, is the day my dad left this earth. My dad taught me those very values you talked about. I, like you, am so grateful to have the father I was given and I miss him deeply today. I thank God that I will see him again. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.
    Jill Stogner

    • Waylon
      Jan 18, 2017

      We have been truly blessed. May God continue to. Less you as you grieve

  2. Lonnie Wascom
    Jan 18, 2017

    My dad was born on the 18th also. But in August. And like your dad mine left us too soon. Two weeks to the day before his 72nd birthday. And he was the greatest deacon I have ever known. As well as a pretty good dad! Thank your for the reminder of the importance we fathers have as you reflect upon your dad and for bringing to my mind today the one who, next to Jesus, taught me more about life and ministry than all the seminary profs and pastors I have served with, that being my dad, Lonnie Wascom, Sr.

    • Waylon
      Jan 18, 2017

      I’ve heard you speak of your dad often. You have been truly blessed

  3. Kathy Felts
    Jan 18, 2017

    My dad’s birthday is tomorrow. He will be 77. He is and always has been a gift from God. He, along with the rest of my family are learning how to continue on with life since my mom passed away a little more than a month ago, on December 8. She was taken too soon too, 73 years old. They’d been married 55 years. I’m thankful God did such a great job in giving me the parents I’ve been blessed with. I can’t believe it’s been over nine years since I attended FBC Covington. But, when Shell said “move” we moved. I still watch online when I can. I like to think my mom has met your dad. Thanks for sharing your memories and the message.

    • Waylon
      Jan 19, 2017

      Thanks, Kathy. It’s always good to hear from you. May God bless you and your father today

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. — Psalm 119:165 (NIV)