A little girl asked her mother, “Mommy, if Santa Claus brings us our presents, and God gives us our daily bread, and Uncle Sam gives us Social Security, why does Daddy matter?” Let us consider why we should keep Daddy around. “Anyone can father a child, but being a dad takes a lifetime. Fathers play a role in every child’s life that cannot be filled by others.” Those are the first two sentences in an article entitled “The Importance of a Father in a Child’s Life” found online at pediatricsoffranklin.com. The article went on to say, “Fathers, like mothers, are pillars in the development of a child’s emotional well-being. Children look to their fathers to lay down the rules and enforce them. They also look to their fathers to provide a sense of security, both physical and emotional.” Fathers matter just as much as mothers, albeit in some different ways. Scripture summarizes the unique and vital work God calls fathers to do in Ephesians 6:4 – “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation says “bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” Does Daddy matter? George Herbert said, “One father is worth a hundred schoolmasters.” Daddy, God calls you to be a parent, a provider, a protector, a policeman, a guide, a goad, a teacher, and a trainer – and when necessary, a judge and a disciplinarian.
What is a Dad, anyway? Someone anonymously said, “Dad is a mender of toys and leader of boys / A change of fuses and kisser of bruises / A mover of couches and soother of ouches / A pounder of nails and a teller of tales / A hanger of screens and counselor of teens / A fixer of bikes and a chastiser of tykes / A raker of leaves and cleaner of eaves / A dryer of dishes and fulfiller of wishes / A loosener of lids and a lover of his kids.” A mother goes through something called labor to bear a child – and from there her work never really ends. And as Paul Harvey said about fathers: “A father is a thing that is forced to endure childhood without anesthesia.” No one impacts a child in quite the same way as a loving, nurturing mom – but the same is true of a loving, nurturing dad! Research reveals fathers tend to be more arousing and unpredictable with kids than their mother. Moms and dads rock the baby, but dads roll around with them on the floor to play. It sometimes annoys mom, but dads toss their toddlers up in the air – and catch them when they come down – and the kids love it! When dad playfully wrestles with his son, its about affection – not aggression. Babies as young as eight weeks old notice the difference between a mom’s protectiveness and a dad’s stimulation. Research also reveals that kids pick fathers over mothers for fun and action more than two-thirds of the time. Mothers sometimes spoil the fun with concerns about sleep, safety, cleanliness, order, and etiquette! Actor and comedian Louis C. K. challenges every father: “Be a dad. Don’t be a ‘Mom’s Assistant.’ Be a man. Fathers have skills they never use at home. You run a landscaping business and can’t dress and feed a four- year-old? Take it on. Spend time with your kids. It won’t take away your manhood, it will give it to you.” God is the only perfect parent there is. Every other dad who ever lives has been flawed. But flawed dads can be faithful to God – and to their children. And when they are, they matter. Always have, and always will.