"Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel." (Psalm 128)
The home is to be a symphony of praise! There's to be harmony in the home and if there is to be harmony, then the father is to be the leader of the band.
It is difficult to be a good man and even more difficult to be a good husband. But most difficult of all, and I think you would agree, is to be a good Dad.
Now dads, are you listening? You might fail in a lot of different ways, but you must fear God and live with integrity.
What do you want to be remembered for? I was thinking what my children will remember of me. First, I thought, they'll remember my sermons. Then I laughed and thought, I can't even remember them! They're not going to remember my sermons. So what will they remember? I pray to God that they will remember me for my character. I want them to say, “My dad feared God. My dad walked in the ways of God.” That's what I want to be remembered for.
I remember when our first son was born, Joyce and I were in school. I was working my way through school and we were living from God's hand to our mouth. I worked my way through eight years of higher education and had to pay the bills and God just provided.
We wanted to have children and the first was our son, Steve. When that night came, Joyce gave me that elbow, and she said, “Adrian, I think it's time.” Boy I'm telling you, I was scared to death! My heart was pounding and she said, “Adrian, you're supposed to call the doctor and tell him that we're on our way.”
Now folks, we lived in a little house trailer and we didn't have a telephone. We didn't even have a bathroom! So about 2 in the morning, I went out to go to the communal hallway to use the phone. And it was locked. I said, “Oh, dear God, it can't be locked. I've got to use the phone. This is an emergency.”
So I went to my car and got a tire iron and pried open the window. I thought, “Boy if I get caught doing this, I'm in real trouble, but this is an emergency!” And then, I dived into the window, banging my shins, and fell on the floor. I ran to the pay phone and realized I didn’t have a nickel! So out the window I went, back into the house grabbing a nickel and then back again.
I then remember waiting in the waiting room by myself and after a while they came out and said, “You’ve got a son.” As my wife and new son wheeled past me, I looked at my own flesh and blood. I went back to that little house trailer, got on my knees, and I said, “Lord, if I never preach a good sermon, if I never pastor a significant church, if I never have any possessions, that’s not the important thing. Oh God, I pray that this boy will know that his daddy loves Jesus.”
And I thank God for my other son, David, who ministers in Spain and my two godly daughters, Gayle and Janice, who love the Lord. And my friend, I want to tell you I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.
I want all my children to think that Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were the Jesse James boys compared to their daddy. I want them to believe in the God that I fear and love.
And I want to tell you something dads; number one in being a good dad is the character that he lives. Integrity … my kids know that I have faults, I have a lot of them and they could stand up and say, "Dad has faults," but I'll tell you one thing they will do, they'll say, “my dad is real. My dad is honest. My dad loves God.” I know they would say that. And my dear friend, your children need a dad that fears God and a dad that walks with integrity.