Week of June 17
By Skip Heitzig
I’ve heard that a father is a person with pictures of his children where his money used to be. I’ve also heard this: Mother’s Day is the day when the phone company reports the greatest number of phone calls. But Father’s Day is the day with the greatest number of collect phone calls. I thought that was hilarious!
But it points up something about fathers. We are the providers; that’s our job. But more than just being a source of financial support, we are truly indispensable in the lives of our children.
Dr. James Dobson said, “The western world stands at a great crossroads in its history. It is my opinion that our very survival as a people will depend on the presence or absence of masculine leadership in the home.” I agree with that. Reports say that 43% of American children live without their fathers, and 90% of homeless and runaway kids are from fatherless homes. Further, 71% of pregnant teenagers lack the presence of a father in their lives, and 85% of the youths in prisons grow up in a fatherless home. Fatherless boys and girls are twice as likely to drop out of high school, twice as likely to end up in jail, and four times more likely to need help for emotional and behavioral problems.
Ephesians 6:4 says, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” You can’t divide that verse, men. Both those directives are for the father. That’s why it’s so vital that dads remain involved in the lives of their children.
But even more than that, children’s view of God as a Father is largely determined by their view of their earthly father. If you have a great relationship with your father, that idea is wonderful. If you have a crummy relationship with an earthly dad, you have to get over some stumbling blocks to understand of what kind of a Father God is. It’s an impediment, or it’s a blessing.
One day your daughter is going to grow up and ask, “What kind of man should I marry?” You will have answered that question if you model a godly life. And someday your son is going to ask, “What kind of man should I be in relationship to a wife and children, and to God?” You will have answered that question in a positive way if you lived a godly life.
We need to be an example for our children of the character and nature of a loving God. And for that, we need to have a personal, prayerful relationship with God. Your personal walk with God will determine what kind of person you are publicly, and what kind of husband and father you are in the home. It all starts in the heart of the individual, and that heart should be committed to God.
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