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June 2013

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

(In America on June 16, 2013)

By Beverley Carter

 
“A true father is one that is willing to make sacrifices for his family. He will make the decisions that aren’t easy, but that have to be made.  A true father doesn’t necessarily have to be at every event that occurs in his child’s life, however, he should be active in his child’s life. He won’t always give his children what they ‘want,’ but would never hesitate to give them what they need. Overall a true father is a father that loves his child/children unconditionally.” – Madison
 
Any male can father a child, but it takes a REAL man to be a dad!
 
Where have all the fathers gone?
Single women head around 26% of households in the United States.
 
The following excerpt comes from a paper written by J. Berryhill, PhD, and presented at an Oxford Forum, UK, in 2006.
 
“In the 1970s and 1980s many people argued that the traditional family – based upon a married biological father and mother and their children – was outdated.  Under the guise of ‘freedom of choice,’ ‘self-fulfillment,’ and ‘equal respect for all kinds of families,’ (I don’t think they asked the children) radical feminists and social rebels led a campaign to experiment with different family structures. Sometimes it was claimed that women and children did not need men, and were, in fact, often better off without them. On occasion it was said that families were not breaking down, they were just changing.”
 
 “Today in the West, manhood is not valued by many, and fatherhood is absentee.  As a result, many children are growing up with an unhealthy sense of entitlement, and have an inability to deal with any authority.  These children have no idea about ‘boundaries’ or ‘the consequences of their actions.’”
 
EVALUATING THE RESULTS
 
“The weight of evidence indicates that the traditional family based upon a married father and mother is still the best environment for raising children, and it forms the soundest basis for the wider society. For many the ‘fatherless family’ has meant poverty, emotional heartache, ill health, lost opportunities, and a lack of stability. Many think that our social fabric is threatened, much like in the days of Rome.  Although a good society should tolerate people’s right to live as they wish, it must also hold adults responsible for the consequences of their actions.”
 
In addition to the problem of absentee fathers, there is also the problem of  ‘out of control men.’  Men carry out most acts of violence, especially those against women.  The majority of children with behavioral problems are boys.  More than 90% of incarcerated criminals are male.   What have we done, or failed to do, to get to this place?
 
Here is the sad confession of one father:  “I took my children to school, but not to church.  I taught them to drink, but not of the Living Water.  I made the Lord’s Day a holiday rather than a Holy Day.  I taught them the church was full of hypocrites, and made the greater hypocrite of them and me. I taught them how to make a living, but failed to bring them to Christ who alone can make a life.”
 
Where have all the fathers gone?  
 
First, let me say, I believe there are many wonderful fathers out there who take their responsibilities seriously.  If you are such a father, we honor you and congratulate you for being the man God wants you to be.  We thank you for being a ‘visible’ father who makes every effort to be at home, to lead, guide, teach and counsel your children.
 
If you are a father who has too often been an ‘invisible’ or ‘absentee’ father, please allow me to give you some encouragement. 
 
1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(After confessing your sin to God, it would be right and good to apologize to your family. It takes a ‘strong’ and a ‘big’ man to say ‘I’m sorry.’  Only ‘wimps’ can’t say they’re sorry.)
 
Here are a few follow-up suggestions:
 
1. Love the mother of your children – Ephesians 5:25 – “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church.”
(If more husbands did this, their wives would adore them.)
 
2. Love your children unconditionally – Psalm 127:3 – “Children are an heritage of the Lord; they are a reward from Him.”
 
3. Ephesians 6:4 – “Fathers, don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord Himself approves.”
(Correct the wrong; commend the right. Be a coach rather than a critic.)
 
4. Ephesians 5:16 – “Make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
(Take every opportunity to spend ‘spiritual time’ and ‘fun time’ with your children. They will love you for it.)
 
Be a good provider; be a protector; make sure you have daily worship with your family; take them to Sabbath School and church.  Develop relationships with God-fearing men who are loving and respectful fathers.
 
Follow the example of Joshua in the Bible. Joshua 24:15 –  “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of this world…in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!”
 
The best father is the one who knows God as his Heavenly Father, and only Jesus Christ can provide such a relationship.
 
May God bless you all with a very Happy Fathers Day!

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