Fathers, It’s Time to Step Up Your Game


Last week I stood in front of 50 inmates inside a prison in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, to share a message from Luke’s Gospel about the prodigal son . The men ranged in age from early 20s to late 70s. When I talked about how much the generous father loved his prodigal son—in spite of his horrible behavior—the guys wiped away tears.

When I called one of the prisoners to walk toward me from the back of the room so I could demonstrate how the father ran to his son and hugged him, all the men wanted a hug. I didn’t take a poll, but I could tell that many of the guys didn’t grow up with healthy dads. They were starved for a father’s love and affirmation.

I asked one of the younger guys why he was in prison, and he lowered his head in shame and told me he had killed someone. When I embraced him (the first time I’ve ever hugged a murderer), I had no fear because he had been so obviously transformed by the love of Jesus.

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You don’t have to visit a prison to see evidence of today’s fatherlessness crisis. Good dads are a rare commodity. It’s time for all fathers to step up their game. As we celebrate Father’s Day 2024, here’s a reminder of the qualities every dad needs:

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