June 18, 2004

Happy Father’s Day – Challenge to Dad

by Orlando Franklyn
Missionary Out Reach

A hard-working dad named William Jackson-Smart was the inspiration for the creation of Father’s Day. His wife died in 1898 while giving birth to their sixth child and the Civil War veteran was left to raise the children alone in rural Washington.{{more}}
In May 1909, Smart’s daughter, by then a married woman named Sonora Dodd, heard a sermon enumerating the virtues of motherhood. It was Mother’s Day.
Sonora decided to honour her dad’s dedication to his children by seeking to have a Father’s Day designated on the calendar. The day caught on, but it was not permanently established annually in the U.S. until 1972.
Father’s Day is very special. To be a father is a high calling and must be honoured. God gave the command to Adam, father of all living things, to be fruitful and multiply; and to Noah, after the flood: Genesis 9:1 – And God blessed Noah and his sons and said unto them, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Are fathers today fulfilling the role that God called them to do?
For many fathers the answer is Yes! Hebrews 2:13 says, “I will put my trust in Him. And again behold I and the children, which God hath given me.”
We see many fathers today playing the role of a father and a mother in their home where a mother is absent, doing their best to provide good education, material needs, wealth, health care, etc. for their children. But despite the hard work and sacrifice, many children come out to be vagabonds, teenage parents, drug addicts, alcoholics, etc.
Where have we gone wrong? Sad to say, many fathers are the cause of some of the problems in our country today because they have neglected the Bible and its teachings concerning child rearing.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Read also Proverbs 23:13; 29:15, 17. Ephesians 6:4 says, “And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Fathers can play a vital role in their home as they train their children to follow God’s ways.
How can we begin? We must follow the instruction manual for rearing child: the Bible. The Bible commands for all our relationships to be centered on love. Let us determine by God’s grace to break the cycle of anger, malice, selfish attitude, indifference toward our children and give them what they long to hear from us: words of blessings and love.
The character of your children tomorrow depends on what you put in their hearts today. Our children need our attention, guidance and care. Remember, the best thing you spend on your children is your time.
“Fathers aspiring fathers God will hold you responsible for every child that He gives you,” Samuel 3:13.
I challenge you today to become a God-fearing father and you will become a blessed father.
I wish you God’s richest blessing on this FATHER’S DAY.
l Editor’s note: Submitted as a letter