A father’s responsibility

Published 8:47 am Thursday, June 14, 2018

John MacArthur, in his book, “The Family,” refers to a father’s lessons learned as he looks back over his life. The list caught my eye and I thought I would pass some of it on to you. He starts by saying he would love his wife more in front of his children. He would also laugh with the children more—at their mistakes and joys. Next he states he would listen more—even to the youngest child and also be more honest about his weaknesses and stop pretending perfection. He would pray differently by focusing on himself instead of so much on them. The list continues with him saying he would do more things with his children, do more encouraging and bestowing more praise and pay more attention to little things, deeds and words of love and kindness. He concludes with saying he would share God more intimately with his family and use every ordinary thing that happened in every ordinary day to point them to God.

Proverbs 13:22 says, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.” The word inheritance also refers to something other than things, something that money cannot buy.

I believe, as a father, some of our best days are when our children and grandchildren are young. This is the time when we can make the greatest impact on them. We only have a few years to invest in our children, but we will have the rest of our lives for our hobbies, interests and careers. If we do not have time for our children while they are young and need us, then they may not have time later in life when we need them.

Email newsletter signup

A father must plan time for his children, and not let other things steal his time with them. Parents should make decisions with the children in mind when it comes to vacations together, homework, hobbies, recreation, etc.

A child’s early years are some of the most important. Some psychologists say the majority of a child’s personality is developed by the age of two. They develop characteristics such as sharing and obeying, along with their values. Their foundation is being built for the rest of their lives with discipline, affection and praise. It has been said that children are like wet cement, the impressions left behind are forever.

A father must realize that things such as a house, automobile or hobbies are for this life only. Our family is for eternity. Whether a child will spend eternity in heaven or hell depends largely on their parents.

A child learns his first concept of the Heavenly Father from his earthly father. Fatherhood may have some of life’s worst nightmares or some of its greatest rewards because of a father’s influence or the lack of it.

Remember, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it …”

STEVE CONWELL, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church is heard mornings on WFLO and WVHL in “A Thought For Today.” His email address is Steve Conwell@outlook.com.