Saturday, December 02, 2006


As I pulled out of the garage the other night, the radio came on and I heard, "It doesn't matter how much you preach the truth, Pastor, if you don't have an intimate, loving relationship with your children, they will walk away."

I recognized the voice: Josh McDowell. He was speaking on Focus on the Family. His message had my full attention as I heard him speak about Christian kids and why so many walk away from the truth.

McDowell has been around forever. He likes to joke, "The Dead Sea was only sick when I started ministry! The Statue of Liberty was a little girl!" But he knows what he's talking about -- he's seen it all.

He shared a story that I will never forget. Michael Jackson (yeah, THAT Michael) spoke to a group of college students in Oxford, England some time ago and 10 minutes into his speech, he began crying uncontrollably. The crowd was feeling awkward, wondering what on earth was wrong. Finally, one student brought him a box of tissues. After composing himself, he quietly said, "I was five years old when The Jackson Five started performing. I remember making a mistake as we were working on our dancing routines. I looked up to my Dad and said, "Daddy?" He responded, 'I'm not your Daddy, I'm your manager.' I've never forgotten that...all I've ever wanted is my Daddy's love, to hear him say he loves me..."

This story broke my heart. It certainly doesn't excuse the lifestyle Michael Jackson has led, but it explains A LOT. Like so many people, Michael has never received the loving strength of a Father, and his emptiness is evident to all.

Words fail to express how blessed I was to grow up under a Father's loving care. A man who told me and showed me he loved me. He wasn't perfect; no man is - but he was mine and I believed he hung the moon. Still do.

I look at Aaron and I'm overwhelmed with gratefulness for the way he fathers. You should see Jonathan when Daddy comes home; get out of his way! We are wired from birth to connect physically with our Daddies and I see that everyday in my children. He is bigger than life to them.

The greatest influence on a child today, the greatest Hero he can have is not an athlete, not a pastor, not a teacher, not a politician, but a Daddy. A warm, strong Daddy to call his own.


Anonymous said...

What wonderful truth!

Erin Haley said...

that is so true...