This Father’s Day, Cissie Graham Lynch examines the importance of a father’s role in his family by sharing Scriptures and personal stories on the newest podcast episode of Fearless.
“I’m just grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to have a front row seat of how God has used men who’ve been obedient to their calling on their life,” Lynch said.
But she hasn’t always felt that way.
“As a teenager, I really struggled with my relationship with my father,” said Franklin Graham’s only daughter. “I struggled with his absence. He was gone a lot.”
This meant other father figures taught her how to ride a bike and dribble a basketball.
“I always wondered … ‘God, why do You take my father away from me?'” Lynch recalled.
Those thoughts disappeared when her dad took her on a trip during her college years to see various Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ministry projects.
“I remember in this moment it was the first time that I was so grateful for who my father was—because I got to see this man who was obedient to God’s calling on his life, who … was not afraid of what [it] cost him, that he would go boldly in the Name of Jesus to serve,” Lynch said.
It became clear to her that in this, her father exemplified the Biblical trait of compassion, as mentioned in Psalm 103:13—”As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.“
In addition, Lynch shared how her grandfather particularly embodied the word “compassion,” playing back the heart-moving audio from her Aunt Ruth at his funeral. Ruth Graham told a story of how after making several mistakes, her father welcomed her home with open arms.
“It didn’t matter how his children failed or his grandchildren failed,” Lynch said. “My grandparents never acted like they were embarrassed.”
That even meant her grandfather didn’t give up on her dad when he rebelled as a young man.
“He and my grandmother were worried about my father’s soul and where he was going to spend eternity. And it really challenged my dad that he was going to have to make a decision to choose the Lord or to reject Him,” Lynch explained. “After that, my dad was in Israel working and he surrendered his life to Christ on the Mount of Olives.”
During the podcast episode, Lynch reveals several more Scriptures that outline the role of a Godly father, such as providing for his family (1 Timothy 5:8), disciplining children (Proverbs 13:24) and never giving up on them (Luke 15).
“I would encourage you this Father’s Day to pray to the Lord that He would give you wisdom of how to impact your children to leave a Godly legacy in their lives,” Lynch said.
And she challenged listeners to do something extra special for those blessed with earthly fathers who exemplify their heavenly One.
“It’s easy to celebrate Father’s Day, give a quick card, a present or maybe a call or a text, but I want to encourage you to take maybe an extra step to call your father or your grandfather or maybe somebody in your life that’s been a father figure,” Lynch said.
“We know life is short. … Take the time to thank them for being a father who is compassionate, for being intentional, to be present. Thank them for being a father who was in God’s Word, who walked with God. Be specific with what you’re thankful for this Father’s Day and not let this day pass by without telling them how you truly feel.”