Kimberly’s father went to be with the Lord last week. His mind was failing and his body simply quit. J. D. Davenport was a tall man, an entrepreneur, a salesman, and a man of faith. He raised his three daughters the best he knew how. He had faith in God that He would meet all their needs. He displayed generosity when he had the means and unconditionally loved his family.
Big Daddy, as he was affectionately called, loved his daughters. Kimberly remembers how her father’s unconditional love enabled her to trust her heavenly Father. She did not have to overcome wounds in her spirit, that fathers can unknowingly inflict on their children, to trust in the Lord. J.D. was a happy, loving father which made it easier for his daughters to love and trust God.
“...we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God...” 1 Thess 2:11-12
Six Things Fathers Are to Their Families
Fathers protect their spouses and children. They guard the home from intrusion by dark forces or boys with evil intentions. They protect the innocent and vulnerable.
Fathers lead their families. They are equipped by God with grit, determination, resolve and devotion to God. Their vision and initiative direct the family.
Fathers are guides giving advice, wisdom and counsel from their unique objective perspective. They have an instinct to point the way.
Fathers are examples. They model what a man should be to their sons and daughters. They represent God to their children. Sons and daughters learn by watching their fathers.
Fathers encourage their children. They inspire their families and cheer on their sons and daughters. A father’s support gives his children courage and strength.
Fathers love. Despite the attitudes and strained relationships fathers may have at times with their children, they love unconditionally. Daughters and sons need the love of their father.
I am sure Big Daddy failed many times in his eight-four-year life but his example and love for Kimberly enabled her to have a strong faith in God. She attributes her undeniable trust in God to her father, Big Daddy.
May we as men be the best fathers we can be to our children and make a choice to love them despite all obstacles. I challenge you as a father to invest in your children and decide what legacy you want to leave them. On this Father's Day be sure to tell your father how he helped you what he means to you.