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OPINION: Great role models for fathers

Gaylord Herald Times - 6/13/2018

I invited my son, Tim, to join me in the creation of my Father's Day column.

Tim is a father and a professional counselor with editorial experience so it's not surprising that, in my opinion, the strongest line in the column came from his pen; though which line will remain a family secret.

In his article, "Our Fathers Who Are on Earth," appearing in an issue of Christianity Today, Roland Warren (president of the National Fatherhood Initiative) says the relationship people have with their fathers may directly affect their ability to relate to God the Father.

One out of three children in America grows up without a father. Add to this scary statistic the fact that some fathers are abusive or simply self-centered and it's easy to see how important it is to develop fathers who are not only there but care.

Here are some role models for men who long to become the fathers they ought to be:

Joshua was a military dad who came to power after the death of Moses. His responsibilities were mind boggling. Imagine taking over the tasks of the great lawgiver who had led his people out of slavery and through the Red Sea to the border of the Promised Land.

The pressures of Joshua's position (military captain and political leader of the nation) must have been almost overwhelming. But this working father was determined he wouldn't lose his family in the process of successfully fulfilling his role on the job. Keeping his priorities right seems to have been the secret of Joshua's fatherly success: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," he said (Joshua 24:15). And centuries later, this dedicated dad's enduring declaration decorates many front doors.

The prodigal's father, described in a parable told by Jesus (Luke 15), was approachable, affectionate and assuring in every situation. When his younger son wanted his inheritance early so he could travel and test his ability to succeed, he felt free to approach his father. Some might have slipped away at night, but this son was so confident of his father's love that he simply asked for and received his share of the family fortune. When he found himself out of money, friends and food, he headed for home and upon nearing the old homestead saw his father running to meet him with open arms.

The father in this parable represents God and this is the only example we have in the Bible of God running. One writer says the prodigal's father was out of breath, but he wasn't out of love.

Now consider the greatest role model of all.

Consider the many times Jesus referred to God as His father: in the Lord's Prayer, on the cross, at the ascension, to name a few. Indeed, the whole plan of redemption rests on the Father sending His son to redeem us, paying for our sins.

A few years ago, before the proliferation of smartphones so dramatically altered the way we communicate, it was said that the one day on which the most phone calls were made was Mother's Day, while the most collect calls were made on Father's Day.

Call your father - don't text ? call and speak with him. He's worth the investment.

And call your Heavenly Father! He's already covered the cost.

A new book containing more than 100 of Roger Campbell's best columns, "Everywhere You Go There's a Zacchaeus Up a Tree," ideal as a Father's Day gift, is now available at your local or online bookseller. Contact Roger Campbell Ministries at


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