"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fatherhood


"I am convinced that all children would be genuinely religious if they had someone to lead them rightly to God, to whom they belong....."  Rufus Jones, 1926

A decade ago when my two oldest sons were already grown, I put together the picture/writings in this frame....

The photo had been taken years before.  It is my favorite because it captures the essence of my children in their early years of bonding.  The youngest had finally come along to complete our family and all 3 were a cohesive unit as much as 3 brothers that age can be.  I didn't want them to grow up...
Click on photo to enlarge

But then I came across this from a woman who lived in the 1700's....
Click on photo to enlarge

I put it next to my bed where I would see it in the morning when I did my devotionals as a reminder that my children are not mine to keep.  They grow up, have minds and hearts of their own, lives to live, and places to go.  

We celebrate fathers tomorrow because being a father is not an easy task, if it's done well, and they deserve all the honor the day affords.  Fatherhood requires a lot of patience and wisdom....which young men haven't acquired yet by the very fact of their age.  So mistakes will be made, but if there's enough love, everything usually resolves itself by the time the child grows up.  And in today's world where fathers (and now mothers as well) spend so much time away from home the opportunity to teach by example is rare.  Gone are the days when it was the norm for children to help with the chores on the farm or in the shop alongside their parents or took on some other responsibility that contributed to the family's welfare.  A sense of belonging is often missing in today's family.  

And with less and less emphasis on the spiritual life in our society, children are often not even told about God and Jesus let alone taught to read scripture.  Fathers, and mothers, need to be paying attention to this.  They may know all the Bible stories from when they were children and not realize their own children don't know the story of Jonah and the whale or Jesus feeding the 5,000 with the little boy's five loaves and two fishes, or all the other Sunday School lessons they learned when they were little.

As Psalm 127:3 says...

Our sons, and daughters, are a heritage of the Lord--His legacy to us.  We must treat the privilege of having them for such a short time with care, so that when they are grown they will carry on in God's will.

Father, thank you for the fathers that take their responsibility seriously and who are often called upon to make sacrifices for their children, in order that they grow up to be men and women of God.


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