June 21, 2017

The high calling of men and fathers!

Do you remember the old commercial in the '60s, which showed a man, a father, reaching down for a box of cigarettes? As soon as he put it back down, his son reached for the same box! It had quite an impact.

Likewise, today, we may ask, “Where are the men?” Sadly, they seem to be absent. Society and families are paying a very high price because of it! It used to be thought that the mother was the most important person in the house, the one who no one could replace. But studies show that absentee men have a greater impact on the home. God has placed a man as the head of the home to guard, protect, lead, teach, and to model Christ-like character. What a calling! What a privilege! What a responsibility! The way a child sees his father is the way that a child will see God and learn about God's character, nature, and love. An ungodly father will damage a child's image of God. Did you know that statistics show that jails are filled with fatherless children and most gangs are made up of fatherless boys who simply want to belong to something? God gave Abraham strict instructions to raise his family to follow God. Job offered sacrifices and prayed for his children every morning to cover their transgressions for that day. Surely behind every great man of God there can be found a praying father. There is no greater job, or higher calling, than to shape a life for Christ. Never has there been a tombstone that boasts of a man’s degrees, achievements, or job position; but rather its boast is that of being a devoted husband and father.

Yet, it is not an easy job. It is tiresome, draining, oh so very daily, and often thankless. Lot, because of his carnal nature, lost his whole family. King David failed to discipline his son Absalom, whose life ended in tragedy and broke David's heart. Eli, the priest, also failed to discipline his sons, and God took their lives.

Has there ever been a time when the cry of this hymn, from the year 1911, could be more heartfelt?

Rise up, O men of God! Be done with lesser things. Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of Kings.

As daughters and perhaps as wives, let us honor the fathers who are in our lives this Father’s Day. It may be your father, your father-in-law, your husband, or your son. Pray for them. Encourage them. Share with them how important and vital they are to you, your family, and the Kingdom of God.

If your father was absent or your husband is not involved, pray for him. Forgive him by the grace and mercy of God, if need be. Allow your Heavenly Father to meet every cry and need of your heart. He is the Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5), the Father of mercies and compassion, and the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3).

“The Bridge Builder” by Will Dromgoole
An old man going a lone highway, came, at the evening cold and gray, to a chasm vast and deep and wide. Through which was flowing a sullen tide the old man crossed in the twilight dim, the sullen stream had no fear for him; but he turned when safe on the other side and built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting strength with building here; your journey will end with the ending day, you never again will pass this way; you’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide, why build this bridge at evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head; “Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said, “There followed after me today a youth whose feet must pass this way. This chasm that has been as naught to me, to that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be; he too must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building a bridge for him!”

“At the Crossroads”
He stood at the crossroads all alone, the sunlight in his face; he
had no thought for the world unknown, he was set for a manly race. But the road stretched east and the road stretched west, and the boy did not know which road was the best; so he took the wrong road and it led him down, and he lost the race and the victor’s crown. He was caught at last in a sinful snare because no one stood at the crossroads there to show him the better road.

Another day at the very same place a boy with high hopes stood; he, too, was set for a manly race he was seeking the things that were good. And one was there who the roads did know, and that one showed him which way to go; so he turned away from the road that went down, and he won the race and the victor’s crown; He walks today on the highway fair because someone stood at the crossroads there to show him a better road.
Author unknown

We would see Jesus,
Karen Pulley