I have recently been reading a book about how important the role of father is. At my grand old age I am still learning about the basics of life. The book is challenging despite the American illustrations meaning very little in our British culture. Perhaps it is time for a similar book written for the British market!
The thing that I have learned most is the importance that a father has in the overall development from cradle to maturity for his son or sons. It is the father that encourages the son to be a boy and finally the man. If the Father fails then the son is left inadequate. To most of you this will be obvious but to me the father of 3 girls it had never dawned on me.
Absent fathers, uncaring fathers etc leave their mark on their sons, which then is evident in their continuing life. We often blame the behaviour of a child on the friends that they keep, this book challenges dad's as to how much they are influencing for wrong their children.
It is for Dad to teach adventure, exploration, reality, skills etc in order that son ( an unfortunate term for some boys!) might grow up to be an all rounded person in society. This is even more important for the Christian father who has a responsibility to show true Christianity and not the churchianity that most of us display in the home. It is easy to talk church and church politics but not the glory of Christ in our salvation: that ought to be the subject for another blog sometime!
What do our children learn of faith and discipleship in the home. the challenge for us fathers is:
Do they see the Father God through our example?
I am challenged to look back at my business at the most important time of bringing our children up and wonder what help I have been. they have turned out to be wonderful people but I can see where I failed. Have they really learned about the Father Heart of God from my ways? I doubt it very much.
But then I look at my own father who for much of his life was not a Christian. He died suddenly just one week after his 49th birthday. I was a newly married young man who had just lost his best friend, mentor, fellow explorer, fellow worker and my Dad. I was broken and did not cope well for many years but now as I look back I can appreciate the many hours of sacrificial energy that he put into my life. He taught me so mush.
I can run fast (or used to be able to!) because he gave me tips, I can ride a bike because he persevered, I appreciate good road bikes and can build them because he showed me the way. I can work on cars if I have to because he taught me about engines, suspension, gear boxes and all that makes a car. I can re-wire a house, build badly walls and do many DIY jobs in and around the house simply because he taught me. I know about the countryside and appreciate wales because he showed me. There is so much and at last at the age of 63 I really need to say a:
Great big thank you Dad.
For much of his life he was not qualified to teach me about salvation but that was my privilege for me to him. It was thrilling to hear after his death of his confession of faith to our pastor just one week before that fateful day. He will never read this little thanks but one day I will be able to thank him for helping me to become the man. will our children ever be able to say thee same of us. Young fathers invest in your boys, love them mentor them and make them into the men that they need to be, equipped for life and respecting others especially their lady. my dad loved my mom and that was a wonderful lesson, he respected people but and cared properly and with propriety towards women. men we need to teach that by our example, that is yet another blog subject.