“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (which is the first commandment with a promise), ‘so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.’ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1-4; all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible).
Happy Fathers’ Day to all the fathers and grandfathers who read Darkened Glass Reflections. I would also like to extend that to the other father figures, especially those who are role models to young people who do not have an abiding relationship with their father. Sadly, there are too many fatherless children out there who need that support and guidance. To quote a few noted people from different ideological perspectives:
“Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father” (Gloria Steinem).from “The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations,” compiled by Mark Water (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000).
“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father” (Pope John XXIII).
“We need to restore fatherhood to its rightful place of honor” (James Dobson and Gary L. Bauer).
Fathers: God has called us to an important ministry. We are called to disciple the next generation: to train our children in the way they should go so that, when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Real fatherhood does not end at conception. It lasts a lifetime. It demands presence, persistence, perceptiveness, and patience. We need to treat fatherhood as a priority, not merely as something we squeeze in after work is done and the sporting events on TV are over. Our ministry as fatherhood has an impact for generations. As Jean Paul Richter said, “What a father says to his children is not heard by the world, but will be heard by posterity.”
I would like to dedicate this post to the memory of my father, Dennis Lynch, who passed away when I was 28 years old. We had some difficult times, but the last 12 years of his life were a testimony to the power of a changed life and the rewards of redeeming your time. His funeral was standing-room-only, not because he held political office or ran a prosperous corporation. He had simply touched numerous lives and was an inspiration to many. (A few of his friends from Alcoholics Anonymous told me “Your father saved my life” at his wake.) During his last years, he showed me that true significance is not measured by money or titles, but by the positive influence in the lives of others. Even if you have made mistakes in life and family, make the best of whatever opportunities you have now. Your past does not have to define your future; it can provide the lessons to make the best of your present and future.
I would like to hear from you. What encouragement or advice would you have for fathers? Share your thoughts or suggestions by clicking the “Leave a comment” link below.
Copyright © 2021 Michael E. Lynch. All rights reserved.
3 responses to “Fathers’ Day”
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Great tribute to your father. My dad was an alcoholic also. Thank God he quit drinking after almost dying. Lived until he was 82, and I think he actually came to faith before dying. He had always said “I believe in God,” but I could never persuade him that being a Christian is so much more (until the end of his life).
Thanks for sharing that, Rob. My dad went into AA when he was about 44. He did not seem interested in organized religion after that, but he did come to church to hear me preach once; after the service, he said many of the things I was saying about the Christian life sounded like the 12 Steps, and my aunt told me that before he died he told her that Jesus was his higher power.
I believe God’s grace is greater than ours, so that gives me comfort about his soul.
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