Friday, June 14, 2013

father's day stories

If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.

One of the first billboards or church signs I remember said something like this: It takes a few minutes to become a father, but it takes a lifetime to become a dad.  That really makes sense to me.

It is astonishing to meet many of the people we deal with who are hurting.  Many of the people have stories about their father who left them, who was never present or who simply wasn’t in their lives.  In the same vein I speak with men fairly often who talk about their children that they never see and rarely support.  Both cases make me sick.  I believe men have a huge responsibility to pour great things in to the lives of their children.

I am blessed.  God gave me a wonderful father in Richard Seth Harrison.  I have many memories of my childhood that include my dad, but my favorite memories are a big deal: time with my dad on the farm, long afternoons driving through the countryside talking, dad working hard to support our family and causes we cared about, being the best man at my wedding, and more.  The memories do go on and on.  I have learned what that first statement is about.  It is easy to be a father.  It isn’t so easy to be a good dad.  Good dads give their kids much more than gifts.  Good dads pour life in to their kids.  My dad did that, and I have decided long ago to do the same.

There are many other men who have shown me great examples of what it is to be a great and godly man, and I am grateful for each of them.  There is a great challenge before us from the recent Courageous Movie that I would like to share with you.  In fact this Saturday afternoon at 3pm I am excited to share this challenge with hundreds of men who will gather near the old courthouse in Uptown Martinsville as I ask them to join me in signing a commitment to be a man of courage.  We need godly men, men who will live with passion for life and be courageous.  It is my conviction that real men of courage make sure that God is not only in their lives but also that they are pouring their faith in God into the lives of the people around them.

The resolution and commitment from the Courageous Movie is as follows:


I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.

I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.

I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.

I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.

I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.

I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.

I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.

I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. ---Joshua 24:15

Those are powerful words and a powerful resolution.  In the movie where this is found one of the wives hit the nail on the head as she told her husband that this commitment cannot be made casually.  I meant it when I signed it, and I am choosing to recommit to being a man of courage.  Would you join me? 

Maybe you aren’t close to Martinsville and cannot come to the event on Saturday, but you can still make this commitment.  Begin with spending time with God.  Continue with talking to your family about your commitment.  Then make it stick.  Live as a man of courage who honors God each day.

I want to close by thanking my dad, Richard Harrison, and my father in law, Ellis Howell, for being great men of faith and of honor.  I am blessed to have you in my life.  What an honor to be a dad to Rebecca, Ruth and Ryan.  I want to make sure they see a great example of godliness through my life.  I pray that one day they will be able to share with their kids that their dad taught them to live by faith.

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