Happy Father's Day

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fathers can never be underestimated. Fathers play a tremendous role in the lives of their children. A father's love -- or lack of it -- bears a tremendous mark that is never outgrown in the life of a child. Whether they are active or disengaged, fathers will mark their children for the rest of their lives.

Proverbs 4:1 reads, "Hear, O sons, a father's instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight." This proverb is geared toward the child and carries some tremendous insights for fathers.

Fatherhood was never intended to be a passive activity. With every action, sons are forming a mental picture of what type of a man they will become or reject. With every word and deed, daughters are forming the basis for the type of men that they will allow to influence their mental, emotional and spiritual environments. Fatherhood can never be diminished to a purely biological role.

For a son to gain positive instruction, a father must actually give instruction. Instruction is more than "lefty loosey, righty tighty." Instruction is how to live a rich, full, God-honoring life. Instruction is passing down a legacy that God-honoring masculinity is one that rejects passivity as a husband and father. Fatherhood means shaping generations with the living picture that husbands and fathers are active, nurturing, loving and leading in their family. A husband and father should create a culture within his family that unleashes all that God created his wife and children to be.

Fathers give instruction to their children not by just giving them activities but by helping them learn to make good choices. Too often much time and energy is spent shuttling to back-to-back activities, eating something from a bag on the way somewhere, leaving mom and dad to collide and collapse -- only to get up and do it again the next day. Fathers must help their children make decisions to keep them from overscheduled and isolated chaos. Protect your family and your marriage by equipping your children with the permission and the ability to say no.

Fathers, if you really want a legacy, be active and involved.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father and serves as the associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jackson.

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