By the time I was at an age that I can remember, Dad's work schedule had decreased to the point that he was gone approximately 12 hours a day, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. I will always be grateful for the opportunities I had to work with Dad as a carpenter over the summers of my high school years, and some time after high school, leaving early in the morning, working alongside him all day and traveling home together with him and my brothers. Dad's gifts to me include imparting a sense of responsibility to view work as a privilege, not a burden. I thank God for the gift of a father who seeks the face of His Creator, even in His imperfections. Dad's growing up years had been difficult, and he wanted his sons to have it better. Certainly his fathering was not perfect, but there is much about his fathering that deserves a lot of praise.
If your father is still alive, make an effort today to contact him either by letter, telephone call, or email. Perhaps you have been bitter at him for something he did or did not do. Forgive him for that real or perceived offense. Perhaps you have a long list of things to thank him for. Don't put it off until tomorrow. A committed father is an endangered species; all Dads need encouragement.
For you fathers, pray about your role as a father. Yes, our Heavenly Father does hold you responsible for a task that is bigger than you, but He also gives you the grace to complete that task. Remember Ephesians 6:4. Fathers are given four instructions: 1. Do not provoke your children to anger; 2. Bring your children up; 3. Discipline them in the Lord; 4. Instruct them in the Lord. You do need the help of the body of Christ, but do not forget that nobody can ever replace you—you are the irreplaceable father of your child.