When we lived in southern California, I helped coach the Little League teams of two of our sons. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun, but there were also moments of frustration. I was blessed to have great coaches to work with, and we tried our best to be good teachers and encouragers of the kids we coached—but that wasn’t the case with every team. In one case, we were playing a team whose pitcher was struggling badly. The coach called the youngster to the first base line and began to scream at the 10-year-old for not having the pitching control of a major leaguer. I turned to my co-coach and said, “Man, if I was that kid’s dad, I’d go after that guy.” My friend said, “He is the kid’s Dad.” I immediately responded, “That makes it even worse!”
Being a father is about more than making babies with someone. It is about being an example, a teacher, a trainer, and a caregiver. Paul viewed his role with the Thessalonians to be like that of a father, and wrote to them:
You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12)
Paul says that he has tried to deal with them as a father should, or would. How has he done it? By his character and his conduct. His character is wrapped up in the words devoutly, justly, and blamelessly. He tried to display a character that they could emulate and, in so doing, honor Christ. His conduct was in exhorting, comforting and warning—because children need all three! On this Father’s Day weekend, we are reminded of the importance and the wonder of being a Dad. For a man, there can be no higher calling.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain