And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:18
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned … Titus 2:7
I am my father’s son. His blood runs in my veins and his lessons from childhood and from how he lives his life play a substantial role in who I am. In turn, as a father, each year I more clearly see the impact I have on the lives, beliefs, and worldviews of my children. In truth, it wasn’t until I had children that I better understood my relationship with my father and what a blessing it was and remains to have a good man for a father. See tribute here.
Research substantiates the significant impact fathers have in the raising (or not) of their children. The pathology of fatherless homes in the country is staggering. Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse.” See fathers.com. There is an overwhelming connection between young men raised in fatherless homes and violent crime. Dr. Loren Moshen of the Nat’l Inst. of Mental Health analyzed US census figures and found the absence of a father to be stronger factor than poverty in contributing to juvenile delinquency. A group of Yale behavioral scientists studied delinquency in forty-eight cultures around the world and found that crime rates were highest among adults who as children had been raised solely by women. Dr. Martin Deutsch found that the father’s presence and conversation stimulates higher performance at school. John Hopkins researchers found that young white teenage girls living in fatherless families were 60 percent more likely to have premarital sex. Dr. Armand Nicholi’s research found that an emotionally or physically absent father contributes to a child’s low motivation for achievement, inability to defer immediate gratification for later rewards, low self-esteem, and susceptibility to group influence and to juvenile delinquency. The loving father’s investment in the wise nurturing of his children’s spiritual, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing pays dividends for generations.
As important as our earthly fathers are, they can only help us temporally. God the Father also invests in the nurturing of his children, in the nurturing of those that have put their faith in His son Jesus Christ. Gal. 3:26. God’s investment in our wellbeing, however, pays dividends, not just now, but for eternity. He equips us and gives us hope for eternity. He also wonderfully provides for us in the here and now. Through God’s provisioning, through his Spirit, I can be the father and husband my family deserves.
The best I can do for the wellbeing of my children is to draw closer to and know my heavenly Father more, every day. Through His grace and guidance, I can be the man God created me to be, to include being the father God intended to the children he’s entrusted to me and my wife, and to further including being the husband to my wife in manner pleasing to God. Through Christ’s strength and through His wisdom I can guide and instruct my children, and more importantly, live, in the Spirit as I model my life before them. We teach what we know, but we recreate who we are. This fathers day, I recommit to drawing closer to the ageless and eternal One so that I may better live by and walk with the Spirit.