A young woman named Charlotte Alexander says that before she took the old family car off to college, her father loaded the trunk with soft drink bottles.
One was filled with oil, one with coolant, and one with transmission fluid.
Sure enough, her car overheated. She scolded herself for not listening to her father’s instructions as she looked at the engine. Then she realized how well her father knew her.
The oil cap was labeled “Dr. Pepper.” The transmission stick was labeled, “Coke.” The empty coolant container was labeled “Diet Pepsi.”
“I finished the trip safely,” Charlotte said. *
Fathers who are wise bless their children in ways they may not realize. Author and radio host Nancy Leigh DeMoss said she learned from her father to “Take God Seriously.”
“For him, Christianity was not just a compartment of your life,” she wrote. “It wasn’t just a category, a part of your life like your school, your job, your hobbies, your relationships, your family, your entertainment, your faith … It was an absolute, fundamental, core reality of his life … He never could understand people who were kind of half-hearted or nominal Christians. That whole concept made no sense to him at all. To him, if you were a Christian, you were a new person. You had to take God seriously. You had no choice.”
The influence of Nancy’s father, Art DeMoss, was clearly felt in the life of his daughter. She grew up to take God very seriously. She is now the head of a ministry for women, Revive Our Hearts, and she constantly points people to revival truth.
My own dad, Harry Webb, was a quiet man, not the dynamo that Art DeMoss was. But he taught me to look to the Lord for wisdom. It was, perhaps, his greatest gift. He left me with this powerful scripture that has guided my life:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways remember him. Then he will make your paths smooth and straight. Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Have respect for the Lord and avoid evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Later, as a college-age student, my “spiritual dad,” Del Fehsenfeld, Jr., reminded me not to “boast” in my own wisdom, but in the fact that I know God and delight in Him (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
In these days when feminists try to downplay the place and value of fatherhood, we need the wisdom of men who stand for truth and share it without embarrassment with their children in the home (Ephesians 6:4) and their spiritual offspring in ministry. We learn wisdom from wise men (Proverbs 13:20) and women, and if we are smart, we will listen carefully so we’ll be wise as we mature.
Long before I became a Christian, I heard the story of old King Solomon’s wisdom, and I prayed to God to make me a wise person. I think this is why I love the book of Proverbs ~ the truth principles of a father to his children (Proverbs 1:1-3). I grew under Solomon’s “teachings” as a new believer … he was like another spiritual father to me, and I could learn from him at any hour of the day.
Maybe you don’t have a father alive today. Maybe your experiences with an earthly father were poor ones, perhaps even harmful. But God in Heaven desires to “father” us, and He has left his Word to encourage and train us. Are you listening to Him? Learning from Him? Take some time …
Let this warm your heart today:
You need never be without a Father’s wisdom.
* Adapted from Reader’s Digest Father’s Day humor, http://www.rd.com/family/9-funny-fathers-day-jokes-for-dad/