by Jerry Vines

The Dad You Never Had
Jerry Vines
Psalm 128

There's no question in my mind that Psalm 128 can correctly be entitled The Fathers' Day Psalm. It is obviously written to a man. In verse 4 it says, ''thus shall the man.'' It's written to a man who is married because verse 3 says, ''thy wife.'' It is written to a married man who has children because it says, ''thy children.'' So, Psalm 128 sets before us the kind of dad that all of us who are dads would like to be and the kind of dad that every father needs to be.

The more I studied this message this week, and looked at this Psalm, and saw the ideal picture in the Bible of a father and a dad, the more I became aware that there are many people in our American society will hear me talking today about a dad they've never had. Many of you have had Christian dads and do have Christian dads for which you are very, very grateful and thankful. But it is increasingly true in our day that this is a picture of a dad some have never had.

I want to read you an article from the World Magazine, a magazine that gives the Christian perspective on the news. The article is written by Barbara Curtis and it's entitled, ''His Little Girl.''

''I remember the day my dad left. He knelt and hugged me and cried. The skimpy dress of a five-year-old girl could not protect me from the chill that gathered around my arms and legs. The scratchy, tickler whiskers, would I feel them no more. The arms that felt so safe, would they be gone forever? What would it be like not to have a father?''

I'll come back to that later on in the message, but this expresses more and more of what's going on in our society. Families and children who are brought up without the benefit of a dad. We are coming increasingly to understand the value and the role of a father, and the importance of a dad in the family. I understand that they have recently had a summit on fatherhood in Washington, hosted by the Vice President. He issued the momentous statement tha ...

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