On June 19, 1983, the bulletin of Hamill Road Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee where we attended had this poem that I thought is worth sharing on this Father’s Day.
To My Grown-Up Son
My hands were busy through the day,
I didn’t have much time to play
The little games you asked me to,
I didn’t have much time for you.
I’d wash your clothes; I’d sew and cook,
But when you’d bring your picture book
And ask me, please, to share your fun,
I’d say, “A little later son.”
I’d tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door,
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.
For life is short, and years rush past,
A little boy grows up so fast,
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away,
There are no children’s games to play,
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear,
That all belongs to yesteryear.
My hands once busy, now lie still,
The days are long and hard to fill,
I wish I might go back and do,
The little things you asked me to.
Alice E. Chase
This was written from mom to son, but with a few changes, it could be from a father to a son. It shows us the regrets of parenting, like, “Oh, I wish I had done things differently.” One of the things that parents, fathers, can do is influence their children in the things of God.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Some parents make a foolish statement and say, “When it comes to religion, I’ll let them decide for themselves.” How foolish. If parents do not influence their children for God, who is? The ads will! The press will! The radio, TV, and internet will! The movies will! The neighbors will! Businesses will! Social media will! Parents use their influence on pets, house cleaning, and landscapes. Why don’t they choose to use their influence on that which counts.
Jeremiah seems to touch on this in chapter 12, verse 7, “I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.”
Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
May the absentee dads come home to their heritage today, for they have a wonderful job to do.
Dad’s Greatest Job
I may never me as clever as my neighbors down the street,
I may never be as wealthy as some other men I meet;
I may never have the glory that some other men have had,
But I’ve got to be a successful as a little fellow’s Dad.
There are certain dreams I cherish that I’d like to see come true,
There are things I would accomplish ‘ere my working time is through,
But the task my heart is set on is to guide a little lad
And to make myself successful as that little fellow’s Dad.
I may never get earth’s glory; I may never gather gold;
Men may count me as a failure when my business life is told;
But if he who follows after is a Christian, I’ll be glad,
For I’ll know I’ve been successful as a little fellow’s Dad.