Sometimes when I’m in a crowded place, such as in a mall or at a ballgame, I hear someone call out, “Hey, Dad!” I instinctively look around to see who’s calling. Although most of the time it’s not one of my children, I’m always reminded of the universal nature of the name Dad. It’s a one-size-fits-all label.

I’m also reminded of the incredible responsibility we fathers have—and of the great privilege. All of us who answer to “Hey, Dad!” have at least one child who looks to us for protection, love, guidance, friendship, training, discipline, and so much more.

I must say that I can’t think of a more rewarding job. Being a dad means that God has entrusted me with the task of training my children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). He has given me the duty to teach them the fear of the Lord (Ps. 128). He has asked me to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord without exasperating them (Eph. 6:4). He has allowed me to share the heritage of faith. And for my efforts I get lots of hugs and kisses, really neat Father’s Day cards, and the chance to hear, “Hey, Dad!”

God knows the responsibilities and joys of fatherhood because He’s our heavenly Father. And as our Father He will give us what we need to care for our children.