Fathers hold their families together

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fatherhood is glue for the family. A recent study published in the journal Child Development has indicated that a father's active involvement in the family not only has a positive effect on mothers but significantly reduces rate of sexual activity among teens.

According to the study, for every activity in which fathers interacted with their children, there was a 7 percent lower rate of sexual engagement by the children. For mothers the level of impact on the children was 3 percent. That percentage does not mean that a mother's influence is less valuable as much as it reveals that a father's influence in the life of their children is more important than perhaps they even realize.

The Psalms knew what psychology is now learning. In the words of Psalm 128 the importance of a husband and father is revealed. In verse 3 we find these words, "Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table." The imagery of a husband and father as caretaker in relation to his family cannot be missed.

Not being a gardener myself, I have come to rely upon others' knowledge and experience to know how to grow ... well, just about anything. I have come to discover that both grapes and olives have a few consistent needs: sun, support and cultivation.

Fathers, your wife and your children need your attention. Like the olive tree and the grape vine need sun to fully grow and produce fruit, your wife and your children need your attention to become all they have been created for. Your attention says more than words ever could that they are important. That what is important to them matters to you because they are important to you.

For grapes and olives to grow well they both need support. Grapes require a trellis to cling to for support throughout their lives. It doesn't indicate a weakness in the plant, but that only when it is supported can its traits of tenderness and sweetness be revealed. Olive trees, on the other hand, require a stake tied to its trunk to support them in their youth. The supportive stake assists the tree's roots to grow deeply, allowing it to one day stand on its own and reach majestic heights.

Fathers ,invest your attention and your support, then watch the fruit of your family blossom.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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