Hello, this is Pastor Pastor Burford. Welcome to God Today. I pastor Liberty Church in Pensacola, Florida. I have pastored there – this next year will be 27 years. I will be stepping down as senior pastor after all of these years. My second son, Josh, will be stepping in – in my place. He is already doing a great job there.
I wanted to take a few minutes and share with you from my heart as a father. I have often said that I feel like I am a better father than I am a pastor. I have raised five children, and we have 12 grandchildren. God has blessed us, all of them are believers. They have not always been believers. Thay are all involved in ministry, most of them in the campuses of our church in the Pensacola area.
I wanted to share a minute with some of you fathers in particular, whose sons or daughters are not walking with the Lord. Maybe they are on the edge, or maybe they have back lid. I want to encourage you, first of all, to love them where they are. Make sure they know, first and foremost, you love them. It is not about how well-behaved they are or about their mistakes. Even when they blow it, you bring them correction, and you direct their lives. You come back and affirm them that you love them.
The Bible talks about how our Heavenly Father brings correction to us because He loves us. Our children need those boundaries. They need them from us fathers particularly. It is easy for us dads, sometimes, to kind of just let our lives – their moms do it. It is important for us as dads to really affirm our children with our live, with our affection. It is not always easy for some of us guys to do that, but we love our children – we will do it for them.
It is really providing them with boundaries, and security really helps them develop into who God has created them to be. That is an important one – to love them as they ware, where they are. Provide direction for them and help them to discover who they are to God and what God has ahead for them. Pray for your children. Be there for them. Create memories with them for the future. I didn’t have a father that did those things for me when I was growing up. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home with a lot of neglect, and a lot of absenteeism. I have tried to be a better father. My greatest ministry, as a pastor, is to be a good father to my children. The greatest ministry you will ever have in your life is to be a great father, a great parent to your children.
I want to encourage you to make the an important commitment in your life. Can I pray for you, dads? Father, help these men. We know they love their children, maybe they don’t know how to carry it out. We pray, Lord, this little time we have had together today would inspire and stir them, Lord, to be better dads, to be there for their children – their sons and daughters – in ways maybe they haven’t been there before. Lord, use them. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.