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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

FATHERS - A GIFT OR A CURSE









 

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”  Proverbs 1:7

Father’s Day was celebrated recently. My father died many years ago; I miss him.  This is a photo of us celebrating a new century. I had a great father, and he had a great father. My dad and grandpa were loving, kind, protective and firm – all things that contribute to a child’s sense of security and well-being. Best of all, they loved and respected their wives, mother of their children. Present statistics show that in the United States, more than one half of all children are missing a father in their home. The fall-out has been tremendous and the impact on individual lives horrendous. Ninety percent of men and women who are in our jails and prisons have grown up without a father in their home.
If you are a young woman dating a man who may someday be your husband, ask yourself – ‘Will this man be a good father?’  Will this man put a child’s needs before his own? Is he mature enough to care and provide for a child, or is he still a child himself?  It absolutely amazes me how casually women make babies with men who are not fit to be a father. And, they usually know that and do it anyway. The baby they bring into the world suffers, sometimes terribly.

A stable, loving relationship between a mother and father is one of the most important things we provide for our children. Children sense when things aren’t ‘right’ between mom and dad. They become insecure and fearful. We were with a group of people from our church one day. One of the men shared something his youngest daughter said to him the day before her wedding. He asked her if she needed anything from him. She looked her dad in the eye and said, “Yes, love my mother.”  This man did many ‘good’ things. He went on missions, shared the gospel anywhere and everywhere, was involved in a jail ministry – just generally lived his life for the Lord. But the one thing his daughter saw missing was a love and respect for her mother. All she wanted from her dad was for him to love her mother.

When you marry, you need to grow up fast or you’ll have problems, many problems. You can no longer look at life as a self-centered child. You might say a transformation must take place. You transform from a self-focused, selfish young person to an adult who willingly takes responsibility. It can be difficult putting other’s needs first.  Instead of give and take, it often feels like give and give. Human babies are so very helpless. They would die quickly if someone didn’t care for their every need. The Lord has planned it this way so we have the joy of nurturing our baby and in this way become bonded, cemented in love. When we had a houseful of teenagers, I often thought I couldn’t have dealt with that time of their life if I hadn’t cared for them as babies and small children needing me to keep them safe, healthy and alive.
I know 'parent love' doesn’t come naturally for all people. That puzzles me, but it’s true. Self-focused people have a difficult time parenting. Only the Lord can ‘transform’ us into who He wants us to be. We are HIS children – He knows all about this ‘daddy’ stuff. In Romans 8: 15 – 16. . .      
“. . .you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry “Abba Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

We need to go to the Lord and ask for help with parenting as with anything that is too hard for us to do on our own. Fathers discipline their children. They have an obligation to do that, not harshly, but justly. Hebrews, chapter 12, has some interesting information on ‘discipline’. I hope my kids remember me reading these words to encourage them. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11

Recently we heard a pastor speak about the fact that Jesus, God in the flesh, was in need of an earthly father. God choose a virgin to conceive His son; He also chose a hands-on father. Joseph endured much because of this, but God gave him the wisdom and grace to follow the plan He had set in place. Jesus learned his trade as a carpenter from his father. He had siblings. As best we know, there were five boys and two girls in his family. Most of all, this man Joseph willingly chose to live out God’s plan honorably, forsaking his own desires. We don’t have the  words of Joseph recorded in the Bible, but his righteous actions tell his story.
All God asks of us is to “Train a child in the way he should go…”  He doesn’t hold us responsible when a child fails to honor a righteous life. But notice there is a promise given with this command…and when he is old he will not turn away from it.” Proverbs 22:6  We can trust God’s promises when we seek His wisdom. Most of us will not be here at the end of our children’s lives to witness the result of our ‘training’, so we need to have the faith that God will do as He has promised.
Fathers – be a gift to your child, not a curse. Grow up, man up! Love and respect your wives. When this is hard to do, ask your heavenly Father to help. You are so very important. Women, don’t get involved with immature men. Your life and the life of the children you bring into the world will suffer. The fact that half of all the children don’t have a father in the home is because of poor choices women have made. For children who’ve had a terrible father, or no father at all, remember you have access to your Father in heaven. He will guide and comfort you through His Word. Learn to love the Bible; your life will be more peaceful and satisfying.
Becoming a parent doesn’t make you ‘able’ to be who you want to be. We are all sinful and flawed in many ways. We are weak and falter – so we go to God and ask for help.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory…” Ephesians 3:20
I believe this verse is one of the most profound in the Bible. Think about what it tells us –
·      God is able

·      God can do more than we ask or can imagine

·      God’s power is at work within us

·      God gets the glory

Lord, we thank  you for Your Book of Wisdom, for your grace in taking the form of a Heavenly Father as an example to help us through one of the most important and difficult parts of life; being a parent.